Date Thesis Awarded

4-2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Government

Advisor

Chris Howard

Committee Member

John McGlennon

Committee Member

Annie Blazer

Abstract

This thesis investigates whether or not, and how, the Christian Right in America has impacted American political discussion of and policy towards Israel. This project informs and is informed by the literature both on how interest groups affect American foreign policy and how religion affects American foreign policy. I hypothesize that the Christian Right will have successfully created a closer alliance between America and Israel, and that evangelical or Christian Right-allied decision-makers will be particularly likely to be supportive of Israel. The investigation has three sections. The first uses content analysis and examination of media coverage to examine how language regarding Israel in GOP platforms has changed. The second uses the same techniques to see how GOP presidential candidates in their primary campaigns treat Israel. The third uses probit regression models to test whether or not evangelical members of Congress are more likely than non-evangelicals to take the pro-Israel side in a congressional vote. I conclude that, through these particular avenues at least, the Christian Right, and evangelicals more generally, are not particularly likely to be supportive of Israel compared to other decision-makers.

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