The creation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC)
Item Usage Stats
The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) was established as the Bosphorus Declaration was signed during the Istanbul Summit of 1992. Turkey and President Turgut Özal were mostly accredited for the initiation of the regional organization. However, the foundation of the BSEC was puzzling as there were ongoing regional conflicts and historical grievances between the member states. Moreover, Turkey had been going through dynamic changes in its domestic politics ever since 1987. Regarding these puzzles, the research aims to question what role the leadership played in the formulation of the BSEC amid regional hindrances and domestic changes in Turkey. The hypothesis in respect to the research inquiry is that the role of leadership, especially that of Özal, was to bring together different actors from diverse backgrounds through regional entrepreneurship to establish the BSEC. Based on the hypothesis, the research is conducted with a qualitative methodology. The data is collected from government archives, newspaper articles, second-hand interviews, and academic publications to create a historical narrative based on process tracing. Then, different hoop tests are conducted within the regional entrepreneurship framework, which utilizes Craig Parsons’ ideational logic and public entrepreneurship literature. According to the tests, the hypothesis is proven to be true as Özal led the process of creating the BSEC as a regional entrepreneur by interacting with different individuals, such as Şükrü Elekdağ and Şarık Tara. This result suggests a different explanation for the establishment of the BSEC in contrast to the BSEC literature, which is heavily based on the structural explanation. Furthermore, the research provides an alternative theoretical framework to analyze how a regional organization is established with reference to the role of leadership.