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Title: The discourse of change and continuity : the international politics of Turkish national identity formation (2002-2017)
Author: Tetik, Mustafa Onur
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 4433
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
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The Turkish society and state have been subjected to significant and complex social, economic and political transformations since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002. These seismic and puzzling changes also projected themselves in the national self-perception and foreign affairs of the Turkish nation-state. Turkish foreign policy (TFP) has gradually deviated from its traditional trajectory and has displayed a salient change in certain international issues and areas. In order to make sense of the transformation in Turkey’s external state actions, this thesis aims to provide an account of the discursive transformation of the Turkish national self-image. It responds to the question of ‘how’ the discursive (re-) formation of the Turkish national identity took place between 2002 and 2017, and made certain paradigmatic changes in the field of foreign policy ‘conceivable’. Turkey’s political relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government, the European Union and Egypt within the given time span are employed as case studies. This study has two main theoretical and empirical objectives designed to make original contributions to International Relations (IR) and TFP literatures with a theory-driven perspective. Firstly, the thesis proposes a ‘modular’ post-structural constructivist approach. It invokes nationalism and discourse theories and embeds them in an IR framework in order to theorise the national identity-international relations nexus. Secondly, this research combines analysis of AKP discourses on Turkish national identity with historical/institutional analysis of TFP. Even in the most constructivist IR works on Turkey, scrutiny of national identity narratives appears to be lacking. Rather than scrutinising the identity transformation process, change (mostly and simply from ‘pro-Western to pro-Islamic’) is accepted as an axiomatic assumption before applying an identity-driven analysis to TFP. This study gives equal empirical weight to national identity construction and international relations aspects, allowing the reader to follow both analyses separately and shedding light on the interplay between them.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available