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Lecture | LUCIS What's New series

[Cancelled] Riding the Tiger: The Constraints of Populist Foreign Policy in Nasser’s Egypt

Thursday 23 April 2020
Free to visit, drinks after
What's New?! Spring Lecture Series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

States must be able to signal resolve to follow through on threats and promises if they are to avoid costly wars. But not all states are created equal. International Relations scholars argue that democracies commit more credibly than authoritarian states. In the latter, the link between domestic audiences and leader performance is deemed too tenuous for accountability in any meaningful sense.

Noa Schonmann challenges this notion by exploring the case of Nasser’s Egypt. She argues that while Nasser was relatively free of institutional constraints, he was bound by societal constraints because Nasser’s personalist, hegemonic authoritarian regime was at the same time distinctly populist. Looking into the precarious relationship between charismatic leader and his followers, the talk explores the possibility of tracing informative costly signals even in strong personalist regimes.

About Noa Schonmann

Noa Schonmann is an Assistant Professor in the International Relations of the Middle East at Leiden University's Institute for Area Studies (LIAS). Previously she was a Lecturer at the University of Oxford, where she also completed her DPhil degree. As a historian of international relations, her research interests focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israeli foreign policy, and societal constraints to foreign-policy making in authoritarian regimes of the Middle East.

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