The determinants of Turkey’s official development assistance: explaining aid behavior of non-DAC donors through an alternative approach of framing and constructivism
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This thesis focuses on aid behavior of non-Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors by using an alternative approach which is largely overlooked in the aid literature: constructivist IR theory. Turkey’s official development assistance (ODA) behavior in terms of its motivations between 2003 and 2019 is analyzed by using seven aid frames established by Van der Veen (2011), which are ‘security’, ‘political and diplomatic influence’, ‘economic interests’, ‘altruistic/developmental’, ‘prestige/image’, ‘obligation’, and ‘humanitarianism’. The research results overall show a hybrid character of Turkish ODA oscillating between models about aid modalities that are OECD DAC donors, and ‘South-South Development Cooperation’ providers. The results of content analysis of my primary dataset, which is the legislative/parliamentary debates on the budget and policy-action of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), the official organization undertaking development assistance operations abroad, reveal that ‘obligation’ and ‘altruistic/developmental’ purposes are the main drivers of the Turkish ODA. While ‘influence’ (political and diplomatic) and ‘image/prestige’ considerations mark other important motives in Turkish ODA behavior, particularly for motives framing ODA in Africa region, the ‘economic interests’, ‘security’, and ‘humanitarianism’ appear surprisingly less in framing the motives of Turkish ODA. This study also compares Turkey’s official aid motives with those of Russia and China, two other non-DAC donors, specifically in the African continent. The comparison of Turkish ODA with two other major non-DAC donors in Africa demonstrates that constructivist IR theory is more plausible in understanding and explaining the aid behavior of donors, when there are too many interacting factors at play simultaneously.
Determinants of aid behavior
Official development assistance