Great expectations: Turkey’s status-seeking policies in the 21st century
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This thesis aims to analyze the role of status concerns in Turkish foreign policy in the 21st century. Utilizing Richard Ned Lebow’s theory that he built in his book A Cultural Theory of International Relations, this research argues that Turkish foreign policy makers have been adopting policies that are primarily driven by status-concerns. Although status concerns are rooted in the human need for self-esteem, they have systemic consequences as they govern political behavior. Benefitting two other complementary theories -Social Identity Theory (SIT) and Prospect Theory-, this thesis demonstrates how numerous agendas in Turkish foreign policy are the manifestations of this human motive. While SIT is employed to identify the policies that are pursued to enhance Turkey’s status in the international system, Prospect Theory is used to explain Turkey’s risky and ambitious policies after the Arab Spring which were resulted from the reference point bias. Ranging from the EU accession process to the most recent policies in the Eastern Mediterranean, this thesis analyzes various major foreign policy agendas and offers a new way of thinking in examining Turkish foreign policy.
Reference point bias
Social identity theory
Turkish foreign policy