Reconsidering hybridity : the selective use of international norms in Turkey’s resolution/peace process
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This study examines the diffusion of international peacebuilding norms in the case of Turkey’s resolution/peace process for solving the Kurdish issue (2009-2015) as a case of peace process in the absence of top-down design through a third party. The study builds on the limitations of current research on hybridity that focuses on the interaction of international and local norms and practices in peace processes designed and implemented by international actors such as the United Nations and donor organizations. The study calls for broadening and deepening the hybridity debate by investigating the dynamics of local agency in a case where the top-down design of the peace process is absent. Drawing on 34 in-depth open-ended interviews with high and middle level actors in the peace process in Turkey and data collected through the media statements of primary actors, this study argues that in the absence of top-down design of the peace process, the dynamics of hybridization are different, as, actors have greater freedom for promoting their own perspectives on peace process design. This study finds that in the Turkish case we discern ‘hybridity by design’, defined as the strategies used by local actors to support and promote peace process perspectives by selectively adopting and/or rejecting international norms, ideas, and practices to legitimize their own position in the absence of top-down design of the peace process. The Turkish case points to further findings on conflict resolution expertise sharing and its impact on the diffusion of norms and practices in peace processes in the absence of top-down imposition.