NATO, Turkey, and the missile defense system: a utilitarian and path dependent explanation of an entrenching alliance
Müftüler-Baç, Meltem and Uzun, Ezgi and Tağma, Halit Mustafa Emin (2012) NATO, Turkey, and the missile defense system: a utilitarian and path dependent explanation of an entrenching alliance. (Accepted/In Press)
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A critical junction in Turkey’s NATO membership arrived in 2010 with the NATO Council’s decision in its Lisbon summit to build a missile defense shield system. After many deliberations, in September 2011 Turkey finally agreed to participate in NATO’s missile defense shield system by hosting its radar site This paper investigates the main dynamics of the Turkish decision to commit to the NATO missile defense system by hosting the radar site on its territory. From a realpolitik point of view, Turkey's participation in the missile shield presents IR theorists with a theoretical puzzle as the utilitarian calculations do not seem to indicate a positive sum gain. From a historical institutionalist point of view, the Turkish decision could be seen as a result of a path dependent process. We use these alternative yet complementary explanations with the ultimate aim that together they could enable us to assess the Turkish decision in a more coherent fashion.
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