A study of belief change and stability with operational code analysis: the case of Erdogan
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Objectives. As the significance of a leader’s beliefs in decision-making processes is widely acknowledged, how and when those beliefs change became important aspects in comprehending the foreign policy of a given country. I investigated whether Erdogan’s beliefs changed in his 19 years of power over exogenous shocks. Informed by the Role Theory, I controlled for the impacts of Arab Spring and US-PYD Alliance as two time intervals. Method. I utilized Operational Code Analysis as an at-a-distance content analysis method. I examined Erdogan’s foreign policy speeches between 2003-2021 and generated his operational code construct. Results. Findings suggest that Erdogan’s beliefs somewhat changed over these two external events, although not in the way that theoretical framework of this study predicted. This limited change is measured as statistically significant change after US-PYD Alliance and tools of OCA supported this, demonstrating a leadership typology change. Conclusion. Events of Arab Spring and US-PYD Alliance had an impact on Erdogan’s OCA belief system and the unfold of Turkish Foreign Policy in an altering manner. Role Theory applications are informative in pursuit of belief change.
KeywordsOperational code analysis
Turkish foreign policy
Recep Tayyip Erdogan