A Regional Stabilizer or a Troublemaker?: A Role Theory Approach to Turkish Foreign Policy

11:00am - 12:00pm

8400 Baltimore Ave., Suite 250, College Park, MD 20740

On Wednesday, August 1 at 11:00 am, START researcher Max Erdemandi will deliver a talk on Turkish foreign policy at START headquarters. Turkish foreign policy has long been perceived as an extension of NATO foreign and security policies, and thus studied in a limited, Western-centric purview informed largely by structural theories of international relations (IR). This is because the main unit of analysis for these theories are states and they are concerned mostly with state-level interests such as power, security, cooperation, and interdependence. In this sense, the structural IR theories focus on how states act in the international system. Role theory, however, provides an alternative organizational framework, as it emphasizes the cognitive and behavioral processes behind individual decision makers’ conceptions of their state’s role in global politics, especially in emerging states where foreign policy is not always uniform and depends on the domestic and international desires of individual administrations. Turkey, therefore, is an ideal landscape to observe the individual vs. system-level role conception because, despite Turkey’s increasingly important role in the international system, Turkish politics and foreign affairs have remained temporal and depended mostly on political leaders’ domestic and international agendas - thus instigating conflict between individual and state-level role conception. This lecture is designed to do a role-theory-based investigation of the individual vs. state-level role conflict in the context of Turkish foreign policy since the beginning of the multi-party period in 1947 for a multi-level explanation of this theoretical inquiry through empirical data.

Max Erdemandi is a researcher at START specializing in public diplomacy, counter-radicalization, influence, and strategic policymaking. This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are appreciated.