The use of intangible benefits for promoting contested policies: The case of geopolitical benefits and the Israeli gas policy

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Abstract

The evaluation of many contested projects and policies often includes intangible benefits. Geopolitics represents one type of intangible benefit. Despite a few examples on the use of geopolitics to promote contested projects, there is a gap in the literature on how geopolitical argumentation is constructed for the purpose of promoting resource-based policies. Hence, the aim of this study is to use an Israeli case study to examine how geopolitical constructs are used to promote competing energy policies concerning recent gas discoveries and to provide rudimentary insights on the implications for policy making. It was found that the geopolitical rationale was an appealing rhetorical device for all players as it is both unquantifiable and hence difficult to disprove and is rooted in the Israeli societal context. As a result, coalitions built their own geopolitical rationales, each with its own rhetorical tools. These literary tools were often embedded in narratives of power and geographical language with emotional resonance. Yet, the Israeli case demonstrates that geopolitical constructs come at a detrimental price as they promote censorship and exclusion of the public from the process.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)929-953
Number of pages25
JournalGeopolitics
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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