The Diffusion of Knowledge in Foreign Policy: The Case of Israel’s Technology Transfers as Tools of Diplomacy Dissertation

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Tooch, David


  • Since its inception, Israel has wrestled with attempts by adversaries to keep her politically isolated in the international arena. To garner more friends and expand diplomatic reach, Israeli leaders initiated a strategy of sharing specialized knowledge with other nations. The technologies and knowledge shared were based on the experience gained from Israel’s distinctive security and developmental struggles. The transfer of technology developed into a foreign policy instrument in Israel’s overall international relations. Technical cooperation became part of a broader foreign relations drive that sought to deliver greater diplomatic recognition for Israel. This strategy, which continues to present times, was born mostly out of two major necessities for the young struggling state. The first, to boost Israel’s political stature in international forums. The second, to counterbalance efforts by Israel’s rivals to keep the Jewish State isolated in the Middle East and the rest of the world. In the early years of the initiative, the technology transfers were mostly confined in fields related to agriculture and the military. In more recent years, the rise of Israel’s hi-tech industry has attracted worldwide attention creating new opportunities for Israeli foreign policymakers to widen the scope of technologies to be offered as part of international partnerships. The dissertation examines the interplay of technology/knowledge transfers as a source of soft power for Israel in efforts to advance relationships even with seemingly unlikely partner nations. It explores the usefulness of know-how sharing in the making, growing and maintaining Israel’s relationships with two influential Asian countries. The study considers the multiple factors including the convergence of interests as drivers of Israel’s ties to India and China in both secretive and open relationships. Over the span of five decades, the Jewish State’s international cooperation efforts have grown in scope of expertise in areas like agriculture, defense, anti-terrorist training, and disaster relief. The study explores the weight of Israel’s technology transfers as tools of diplomacy in terms of propping up trade ties, gaining more favorable policies towards Israel in the context of the conflict with Palestinians and boosting bilateral exchanges in the form of official visits and treaties.

publication date

  • March 7, 2017


  • China
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Foreign Policy
  • India
  • International Relations
  • Israel
  • Soft Power
  • Technical Cooperation
  • Technology Transfers

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)