Dimensions of foreign policy change in Turkey:
Kesler, Ayşe (2005) Dimensions of foreign policy change in Turkey:. [Thesis]
This thesis assumes a substantial change in the Turkish foreign policy, specifically in the traditionally 'sensitive' policy areas such as the Armenian issue, Cyprus conflict, Turkish- Greek relations and those with the EU. Therefore, the study aims to analyze the dynamics of foreign policy restructuring. For this purpose, foreign policy actions of the ruling AKP government and its predecessor DSP-MHP-ANAP coalition are compared and contrasted for illustrating the causes and dynamics of policy changes. Literature on foreign policy restructuring cites three general factors affecting governments' decisions to redirect their foreign policy intentions and actions that explain change and continuity of a state's external relations: 1. International, 2. Domestic, and 3. those relating political agency and decision-making process. Based on the comparative case findings, the analysis shows that domestic factors most influence foreign policy change: low regime vulnerability, together with a high level of political cohesiveness, and a novel orientation to foreign policy, positively impact foreign policy change. From those relating to political agency and decisionmaking, a strong leadership is predicted positively with the cohesiveness factor. Low level of opposition and polarization, as well as decision-making process, however, show no impact on foreign policy change. The study reveals that international factors are not a decisive factor for change per se but can be meaningful depending on the nature and stage of the development; the impact of international factors is found issue specific. As a final point, dimensions of domestic regime change and bureaucratic rigidity were not found applicable for this research.
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