Regional directions of national role conceptions : Turkey's foreign policy in its neighborhood
Sula, İsmail Erkam
Özdamar, İbrahim Özgür
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This study analyzes Turkey's foreign policy (TFP) through utilizing two foreign policy analysis (FPA) tools: Role Theory and Event Data. Role theory claims that foreign policy conduct is an attempt to perform the role conceptions that decision-makers formulate. The literature mainly focuses on the sources of role conceptions. However, most of the existing studies do not comprehensively incorporate foreign policy practices in their analyses. This study argues that such a stance hinders the explanatory power of role theory and creates a need to develop a systematic focus on states‟ foreign policy practices. Therefore, it utilizes event data analysis, which reviews international news reports to collect data on the actual foreign policy practices of states. Combining event data and role theory, this study observes and measures the parallelism between TFP words and deeds. It collects data by utilizing two methods: hand-coded content analysis and computer-assisted event data analysis. By doing so, it builds the Turkey‟s Foreign Policy Roles and Events Dataset (TFPRED) which analyzes TFP in five regions: Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Euro-Atlantic. This dataset makes it possible to observe the relationship between decision-makers‟ vision and the country‟s foreign policy practices. It presents proofs on the validity of its two main claims: 1) There are region-specific differences in Turkey‟s national role conceptions towards its neighborhood and 2) All role conceptions (words) do not turn into practice (deeds) in foreign policy.