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Title: Turkey's foreign policy cooperation with the European Union during the Arab Spring, 2011-13
Author: Süsler, Buğra
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 4202
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The relationship between Brussels and Ankara entered into an exceptional era when the Arab Spring began. Both Turkey and the European Union (EU) expressed interest in foreign policy cooperation in order to deal with the instability in their immediate neighbourhood, where they had strategic interests, more effectively. This thesis asks: "To what degree did the Turkish government cooperate with the EU with regard to its foreign policy actions, and why?" Specifically, it focuses on Turkish foreign policy in response to the uprisings in Syria, Libya, and Egypt. It analyses cases of "cooperative opportunities", consisting of the reactions of the Turkish government to particular events, with the aim of identifying the extent to which there was cooperation and whether cooperation with the EU was driven by consequentialist calculations or by the logic of appropriateness. The research uses interviews with policy makers and diplomats, and document analysis and finds that there was a lack of cooperation to a high degree and that cooperation was generally a consequence of a cost-benefit calculation. However, the foreign policy relationship became somewhat separate from membership negotiations, and the informal dialogue between Turkish and EU officials helped both groups to develop a better understanding of each other's positions. This thesis claims that the EU often sought cooperation with Turkey with regard to the uprisings, and that this changed the traditional power asymmetry. An approach that sees the EU and Turkey as two actors in a shared region better captures the dynamics of the foreign policy relationships than an EU studies-centric approach that emphasises membership negotiations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: JZ International relations