Foreign policy and public attitudes in Turkey : an application of the hierarchical model of attitude constraint
Hatipoğlu, Emre (2004) Foreign policy and public attitudes in Turkey : an application of the hierarchical model of attitude constraint. [Thesis]
Previous studies on Turkish public attitudes on foreign policy have mostly been of descriptive nature and failed to test a model against the data at hand. Explaining foreign policy attitude formation with a model both sheds light on to the role of public attitudes in international negotiations and renders predictive power for identifying public attitudes in future international incidents. Using information processing theory, this thesis applies the hierarchical model of attitude constraint to see whether abstracter beliefs and values of an individual determine her attitudes in foreign policy realm, a realm which is especially complex and ambiguous to make sense out of with everyday stimuli one is exposed to. Simple ordinary least squares and binary logistic regressions were run on a data obtained from a nationwide survey that included both urban and rural areas. The components of the model were derived from previous literature that examined the fault lines of Turkish society.Findings suggest that expectation in socioeconomic status change is a major determinant in foreign policy attitude formation. While statistically significant, religiosity plays a relatively minor role in the model. Contrary to the expectations, group identity also plays a trivial role as a constraining factor in attitude formation - only an ideologically polarized, agitated small Kurdish group consistently stand out in its foreign policy attitudes. Trust in third party actors (i.e. the European Union) prove to constrain attitudes in specific foreign policies pursued by Turkey.
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