The role regime type plays with respect to intelligence cooperation: the case of South Africa and Israel
Walbrugh, Dean John
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This thesis explores the intelligence cooperation exhibited between South Africa and Israel during the time periods of apartheid (1948-1994) and post-apartheid (1994-2015). Regime type is explored as a factor impacting on the intelligence relationship in both periods. Pertinent to the case study is the fact that South Africa and Israel’s regime type shared commonalities during the first period, but not the second. The thesis examines how these commonalities facilitated intelligence cooperation during apartheid, then turns to the question how the change in South Africa’s regime type after 1994 (whilst Israel’s remained the same) impacted on intelligence cooperation. In order to understand the significance of South Africa’s regime change on the intelligence relationship between the two states, a comprehensive theoretical framework is proposed in order to analyse how and why the internal policies of the two states redirected their intelligence relationship. Within this thesis, the concept of regime type is not used in a conventional way, it is framed through a constructivist notion that includes a focus on identity and how this shapes the two states’ intelligence bureaucratic behaviour. This constructivist framing is in turn juxtaposed to two other International Relations (IR) theories, namely: realism and liberalism. This thesis therefore explores how the system of apartheid in South Africa and a system that has been compared to apartheid in Israel brought the two states together on a national interest level. But, what constituted the perceived alignment of national interests and filtered down into a bureaucratic level is better understood through the constructivist notion of culture and identity that actually solidified the relationship. Culture and identity formed the basis of what made the relationship between the two states strong, and as per the focus of this thesis, manifested in intelligence cooperation between the two states that goes over and beyond what Realists would predict. Although liberalism can explain the apartheid relationship better, it cannot explain why the relationship was not severed after apartheid. Since the end of apartheid, the intelligence relationship has been deteriorating, but this has been a gradual process. This study investigates how regime type impact on intelligence cooperation. It applies the three main IR theories in order to explain and understand the post-apartheid South Africa-Israel relationship. It finds that although Realism and Liberalism are useful, interpreting regime type in a constructivist way adds significantly to explanations of the role regime type plays.