Dept.of International Relations - Master's degree

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  • ItemOpen Access
    The Carbon markets and their effects on climate justice
    (Bilkent University, 2024-03) Tekin, Emirhan
    The carbon markets are the most popular climate policy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They are the profit-based markets which prioritize cost-efficiency rather than climate justice, and environmental additionality. As an intra-system solution, the carbon markets present all the problems and contradictions of the neoliberal environmental policies. This thesis questions the effects of the carbon markets on climate justice. It argues that the carbon markets have been deepening and increasing climate injustice due to their profit-based neoliberal features. Subsequently, the unequal representation on the international and local climate politics, commodified characteristic of carbon and offsetting mechanisms contribute to increase climate injustice. To analyze and clarify those effects on the carbon markets, this thesis discusses three cases: California Cap and Trade Program, the impacts of the CDM projects in China, and REDD+ projects. Those three cases are the examples of the most applied three mechanisms: Emission Trading System, Clean Development Mechanism, and Voluntary Carbon Mechanism. Those three cases indicate how and why the carbon markets deepen and increase climate injustice. The thesis explores the limitations and problems of market-driven environmental policies.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The role of defense companies in nuclear weapon modernization in the United States
    (Bilkent University, 2023-07) Topal, Sanem
    The United States allocates significant resources to the defense budget every year. The budget has been increasing steadily since Donald Trump’s presidency, and it diverts government resources to spend the money on urgent necessities, like the health system, hunger, and education. Almost 1/3 of this budget goes to maintaining and acquiring nuclear weapons to bolster deterrence. This thesis argues that defense companies in the United States profoundly affect the procurement process for nuclear strategic delivery vehicles through lobbying. The lawmakers, whom these companies lobby in Congress, vote for bills that, in return, benefit the defense contractors. With many other components, this system is known as the military-industrial complex. This thesis aims to analyze the effect of the military-industrial complex on nuclear weapons, an aspect that is often overlooked by researchers and policymakers. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, results show a positive correlation between nuclear modernization programs and the amount of money spent on lobbying by the five biggest defense companies in the United States between 2000 – 2020.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ambiguous break and vague transformation: The changing nature of capitalism during AKP rule in Turkey
    (Bilkent University, 2023-08) Arıcı, Cemali
    In a conjuncture where global capitalism is undergoing changes and industrialised economies have begun moving away from the policies adopted during the last four decades, emerging economies have been adopting new growth regimes for some time. Large emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil have successfully pursued policies with a more intensive role of the state in the economy, which some scholars have explained in terms of a state-permeated capitalism model. During the last decade, Turkey’s political economy has undergone noticeable changes that seem to depart from the neoliberal paradigm that emerged in the 1980s and was reinforced in the early years of the 2000s. While the potential presence of state capitalism in Turkey has attracted the attention of scholars of political economy, the recent dynamics of capitalism in Turkey present a complex picture. Seeking to contribute to a better understanding of the changing nature of capitalism in Turkey, this thesis investigates potential transformations in Turkey’s political economy by analysing it in terms of the state-permeated capitalism framework. Based on an analysis of the model’s main components – namely, coordination mechanisms, institutional domains (corporate governance, finance for investments, industrial relations, education and training, innovation, and domestic markets), and institutional complementarities and clusters – the thesis points to the possible transformation of Turkey’s economy towards a hybrid form of capitalism, that preserves some liberal elements while also reflecting some features of the state-permeated capitalism model.
  • ItemOpen Access
    How are states and women insecured as part of global care chains? The case of Germany, Poland, Ukraine
    (Bilkent University, 2023-07) Bıldırcın, Tuana
    This research explores the insecurities of states and women connected to global care chains. It analyzes the economic, social, and demographic context in which these insecurities exist and reproduced. Using Critical Security Studies and Feminist Security Studies as the theoretical framework together with an International Political Economy approach, it takes Germany, Poland, and Ukraine as the case study. It also aims to put state-women’s security into a perspective in which the meaning of security is deepened. The problematization is how the commodification of care brings insecurities for states and women, while done in search for security.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A tale of two wars: The Russo-Japanese War and the Ottoman public opinion
    (Bilkent University, 2023-06) Kiraz, Enes Şamil
    This thesis examines the repercussions of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 on the Ottoman public opinion. The Ottomans were glad to see Russia defeated, and even better, defeated by an “Eastern” nation that was ruled by feudal lords only four decades ago. Japanese victory set a precedent for the Ottomans to follow. Therefore, Islamists, nationalists, and especially the Young Turks urged the Ottomans to become Japan and not to become Russia. This is the story of two wars; an international war in the Far East and an internal intellectual war on how to save an empire in the Near East.
  • ItemOpen Access
    To ally or to fight: effects of rebel governance and terrorism on inter-rebel relations in multiparty civil wars
    (Bilkent University, 2023-06) Arslan, Ali
    In multiparty civil wars, why do some rebels form alliances with one another but some do not; while still others divert resources to inter-rebel conflict? Although there are several answers to this question, most do not consider the role of rebel-public ties. Yet a group’s interactions with the public matters, as research have shown that constructive ties with the public enhance a group’s relations with the government, third-parties, along with its fighting effectiveness and endurance. This thesis expects rebels with more constructive ties to the public to be more selective partners and more rivalrous against other groups. However, groups with destructive ties would be less selective and rivalrous. Employing logistic regressions over cross-sectional time-series datasets, this thesis finds that former types of groups are more likely to engage in inter-rebel conflict to eliminate their rivals. Yet when the state becomes a non-credible actor to bargain with, where both gaining a concession and co-optation of other groups by the state are unlikely, such rebels tend to avoid conflict in an attempt to form a united body of opposition peacefully. Contrarily, those having destructive ties with the public avoid conflict with others due to the numerous concomitant deficiencies they have. Finally, groups do not differ from others in their alliance behavior based on their ties to the public. The findings imply that public support is considered mainly when rebels decide whether to make limited resources scarcer through engaging in inter-rebel conflict where they may need a last resort.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The strategic culture and political beliefs of Turkey’s far-right leaders: an operational code analysis of Alparslan Türkeş and Devlet Bahçeli
    (Bilkent University, 2022-12) Gül, Kerem
    Far-right parties with strong nationalist tendencies have occupied a central role in Turkish politics. Sometimes as the radical voice of the opposition parties, sometimes as the minor coalition partner, Turkish nationalism has found itself a strong grip on the political scene since the 1950’s. Alparslan Türkeş and Devlet Bahçeli are viewed as the pioneer figures in the long journey of Turkish nationalism. Both leaders have served as party leaders for more than two decades through several coups, domestic and international changes. In this regard, understanding their belief systems becomes a must in order to understand the foreign policy culture of the Turkish far-right. By utilizing the operational code, a quantitative leadership assessment method that maps the political beliefs of leaders in order to identify causal mechanisms in foreign policy decisions (George, 1969); (Walker, 1983) the study looks to identify the general patterns of Turkish far-right leaders in foreign policy. While analysing the belief systems of Türkeş and Bahçeli, the thesis also looks at the foreign policy events that the leaders experienced. Thus, the quantitative results that stem from the automated coding system ProfilerPlus will be combined with a qualitative aspect that will shed light to the events that give meaning to the beliefs. Three main sets of hypotheses are tested in the thesis. First, Bahçeli is expected to have more stable views on the nature of political universe; Türkeş is believed to have a more hostile understanding of the political universe compared to Bahçeli; and both leaders are expected to see their political other more hostile than the average world leader. Secondly, the study hypothesizes that Türkeş and Bahçeli select more cooperative strategies during their governmental terms but remain conflictual compared to the average world leader in any setting. Third and finally, the thesis argues for the two leaders to possess lower self-control over the course of historical development compared to the average world leader; and expects them to have similar control levels during the 1990’s –a time period in which both leaders ruled their Parties. The findings of the study reveal that Türkeş and Bahçeli possess high levels of hostility towards the political universe, adopt conflictual strategies compared to the average world leader, and their level of historical control remain slightly over the average world leader. While there are minor differences among the two leaders, a clear party orientation can be spotted in the field of foreign policy. Approaching the strategic culture debate from a theoretical perspective, their typologies correspond with a ‘realist-other’ approach on the nature of political universe alongside ‘mixed self-strategies’ that swing between moderate ‘idealism’ and ‘realism.’ Nevertheless, the findings also show that most deviations from their career averages have occurred during governmental power and brief opportunity windows. In adopting a longitudinal approach, the thesis analyses the belief systems of the two leaders in several time-frames.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The agrarian question, degrowth and the Global South
    (Bilkent University, 2022-12) Süzer, Hande
    Despite the rise of the degrowth idea and movement, which opposes the limitless economic growth mindset, little work has been done on its perspective on agriculture, land and the conditions of the peasantry, especially in relation to the Global South. Yet, the agrarian lens is not only desirable but also necessary for degrowth to expand its horizon at the theoretical level as well as its activism to tackle contemporary crises of environment, climate, and global capitalism. This thesis aims to draw on the “agrarian question” from critical agrarian studies and bring relevant elements of it to broaden degrowth’s research agenda. By conceptualizing agrarian elements within degrowth, possible ways to achieve agrarian degrowth are explored. As a result, social movements, pluriversality, agroecology, and delinking have been identified to be of significant importance in driving agrarianization of degrowth and a degrowth transition. The main argument of the thesis is that social movements will be the main actors of change during a transition period, with agroecological practices adopted for agricultural production and rural livelihoods and supported by pluriverse practices at all levels for the end goal of delinking the Global South from the global capitalist system and its negative social and environmental effects.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The nexus between domestic politics and foreign policy: Poland's (de) Europeanization
    (Bilkent University, 2022-09) Eşençay, Selen
    Starting from the fall of communism, Poland underwent various changes in its domestic and foreign policies. The country's desire to strengthen ties with the West through EU and NATO membership has changed traditional concepts, systems, and norms. This thesis aims to show Poland's transformation from Europeanisation to de-Europeanisation by testing the de-Europeanisation theory in an EU Member State. With an application of de-Europeanisation theory, this thesis aims to demonstrate whether there is a link between de- Europeanisation domestically and foreign policy behavior. By using primary, and secondary sources as well as semi-structured elite interviews, I divitle Poland's recent political history into two distinct periods. Therefore, I demonstrate both the existence ofa Europeanization effect from the 1990s until 201 O and a de­Europeanization effect following the coming to power of the PiS and the global fınancial crisis and multiple Euro crises. The fırst part (1990-2010) adopted two cases; the 1997 Constitution and EU-NATO membership, while the second part (2010-2020) tested the theory with the anti-abortion bill and the Syrian refugee crisis. Hence, this thesis has two fundamental aims; depicting the extent to which there is democratization and de- Europeanization in a Member State of the EU and demonstrating through the case studies, (Poland's de-Europeanisation) that the nexus between these domestic policies feeds into foreign policy behaviour.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Why does balancing fail? comparing U.S. balancing strategies against the Soviet Union and China
    (Bilkent University, 2022-08) Bulut, Burak
    Objectives. Balancing is one of the most significant concepts in international relations. States have always had to face challenges, and knowing how to balance a challenge successfully is of utmost importance for states. In this study, I investigate why balancing fails. Method. I utilize comparative case study and employ process-tracing. I examine the respective balancing strategies of the U.S. against the Soviet Union and China based on my balancing framework and compare them with each other. Results. This study finds out that, the U.S. applied a coherent balancing strategy aiming to improve the balance of relative military and non-military power to its favor vis-à-vis the Soviet Union during the Cold War. To that end, it used alliance formation as the main balancing strategy, while strategic aid to prospective allies was the secondary balancing strategy. However, it failed to do the same against China in the post-Cold War period. Each Administration pursued different balancing strategies, creating an inconsistency. Conclusion. The pursuit of a coherent balancing strategy affects balancing success and failure. Pursuit of a coherent balancing strategy to improve the balance of relative military and non-military power against a rival results in successful balancing. Conversely, the lack of a coherent balancing strategy leads to balancing failure.
  • ItemOpen Access
    David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett as founders of Israeli strategic culture: an operational code approach
    (Bilkent University, 2022-08) Erğurum, Ahmet
    This thesis examines the microfoundations of two Israeli strategic culture schools attributed to the first two prime ministers of Israel, David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett. Historical accounts attribute Ben-Gurion to a realist orientation, while they attribute Sharett to an idealist orientation. However, these orientations rely on interpretive methods and lack empirical testing. By utilizing operational code analysis as a well-established foreign policy analysis tool, I empirically test to what extent these attributions are reflected in their political beliefs. This thesis employs an automated content analysis method via ProfilerPlus software based on the Verbs in Context System (VICS) procedure to code leaders' speeches as data. The results show that Ben-Gurion’s instrumental beliefs (image of Self) reflect a conflictual image of the political universe as a Type DEF realist leader, while Moshe Sharett’s instrumental beliefs reflect the cooperative characteristics of Type A idealist leadership typology, which align with the historical accounts. As for the philosophical beliefs (image of Other), the findings surprisingly show mixed results. Findings reveal that Sharett’s results differ from his historical accounts, while Ben-Gurion’s results confirm his historical accounts. Both Ben-Gurion and Sharett viewed Other as Type B realist leader. This thesis shows how the synthesis between individual-level variables and structural explanations of foreign policy orientations can advance the explanatory value of international relations theories.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The mutually transforming effect: a comparative study on European and Chinese development finance in Central and Eastern Europe
    (Bilkent University, 2022-07) Metintaş, Melike
    The 21st century has witnessed a profound transition in global development finance after emerging powers have become important creditors for the developing world. Explaining these actors of global development finance and the factors shaping their financing behavior has been widely discussed in the scholarly literature. With its large amount of overseas financing and alternative economic growth model, China has emerged as the top creditor amongst traditional financial actors. Therefore, diversification and competition between traditional Western and Chinese creditors have become the main focus of scholars and policymakers. Yet, current changes in the global development finance show that the likelihood of convergence and cooperation are increasing between Western and China-led development finance. While China is integrating more into multilateral cooperation and abiding by international standards, Western actors have begun to change their financing policies by looking at nations’ needs rather than structural adjustments first. This thesis examines the interactions between Chinese (CDB and CHEXIM) and traditional European (EIB and EBRD) development banks in Central and Eastern Europe. By doing so, this thesis argues that a ‘mutually transforming effect’ exists between Chinese and European development finance as a result of their interactions. While Chinese banks cooperate more with European banks and the EU's financial mechanisms to fulfill their structural weaknesses, the European banks provide more credits on riskier infrastructure projects and state-owned enterprises in the CEE region.
  • ItemOpen Access
    China in Central Asia: opportunities and risks of emerging Chinese hegemony for regional states
    (Bilkent University, 2022-06) Çakan, Hikmet Can
    This thesis aims to analyze the opportunities and risks of the emerging Chinese hegemony in Central Asia for the five regional states namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan with a special focus on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Chinese hegemony in the region is a novel and ongoing process that is a consequence of the interplay between three necessary but not sufficient factors that are China’s rise, absence of other great powers, and Central Asian needs. Framing the opportunities and risks in three main categories of politics, economy, and security, this thesis argues that closer political economic partnership with China in its current hegemonic fashion benefit Central Asian republics in the short-run while it bears significant risks in the long-run. In each category, this thesis offers analyses of a wide array of issues that are either present on the ground or have high likelihood to emerge in the near future. The opportunities range from multivector foreign policy to development finance while the risks include social unrest, trade asymmetry, and militarization of the BRI.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Talks without commitment: the impact of rebel group organizational capabilities on the prospects of negotiated settlements
    (Bilkent University, 2022-06) Yalaz, Seray
    There are multiple bargaining stages in a peace process and their outcomes can vary due to certain parameters affecting these processes. Studies examining peace processes highlighted various factors leading to failures in negotiated settlements as a peaceful resolution is conditional on many factors. In this thesis, I aimed to contribute to the existing literature by investigating the rebel organizational capabilities’ impact on the peaceful resolution of conflict by investigating prospects of negotiation failures. I conceptualized organizational capabilities as positive relations with constituencies, high centralization in leadership, territorial control, and natural resource funding and hypothesized that these capabilities are positively related to negotiation failures. To test these capabilities’ impact, I constructed a dataset by using available data which contains a total of 859 observations of 180 rebel groups in 63 different countries from the period 1990 to 2005. I used my dataset to run Cox proportional hazard regression models and logistic regression models. My findings from both analyses revealed mixed results in terms of constituency relations, organizational structure, and natural resource funding but confirmed that rebel organizations with territorial control are more likely to be involved in negotiation failures after a talk is initiated.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Neoliberalism and surveillance in Turkey: the international political economy of banking sector reform in the 1980s
    (Bilkent University, 2022-07) Kaptan, Deniz
    This thesis analyzes the impact of various banking sector policy reforms in Turkey in the 1980s from the critical perspective offered by surveillance studies. I argue that, with the proliferation of retail banking services, data on the economic assets of individuals in Turkey became increasingly transmitted to the national and international data vortex, creating advantages for power centers that had access to this data. I show the power hierarchies at the bank, state, and international levels through a wide range of qualitative sources. Neoliberal reforms were leading society to consume more, as well as enabling the collection of data on an individual basis. At all levels of analysis, I have found that surveillance mechanisms were mainly used for two purposes: to ensure transparency necessary for the functioning of the economy and to reinforce existing hierarchies. While the latter target is less visible at the corporate level, I have observed that information is collected and disseminated at the state level to remind people of their consumer identity and at the international level to position Turkey within the global economic system.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Turkey’s governance of Syrian refugees: a case of transformation towards regulatory statehood
    (Bilkent University, 2022-06) Beacham, Madelyn Jeanette
    Ten years following the initial wave of Syrian refugees into Turkey, Turkey’s governance of this displaced population is heralded by some as an example to follow and prescribed policy reforms by others. However, among these technocratic approaches, there is a lack of challenging this neo-Weberian, state capacity conceptualization of governance. We instead approach this subject with the mindset that governance is not organic, but a purposeful process that functions to privilege certain interests and minimize others. Seeking an explanation of Turkey’s governance of Syrian refugees, we place this process within the state’s broader neoliberalization. First, this project problematizes the mainstream theoretical approaches to analyzing Turkey’s governance of Syrian refugees and posit the State Transformation Approach (STA) as an alternative. We then apply this framework to empirical evidence received from Gaziantep, a municipality of Turkey that where Syrians are concentrated. We conclude this project with three main take-aways: Turkey’s governance of Syrian refugees cannot be understood outside of a critical analysis of its capitalist development, Turkey’s governance of Syrian refugees constitutes one process in the transformation of the Turkish state towards Regulatory Statehood, and the future of Syrians in Turkey will continue to be determined by Turkey’s capitalist development, and its transformation into regulatory statehood.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A look at nuclear terrorism: an assessment of the fourth wave of nuclear deterrence theory
    (Bilkent University, 2022-06) İdrisoğlu, Işıl
    Along with the unprecedented attacks of September 11 by al-Qaeda, violent non- state actors entered the realm of strategic studies irreversibly. Since then, a growing number of studies conducted as a part of the fourth wave of deterrence research had differentiating opinions on the prospect of success in deterring these actors. In this thesis, I aim to contribute to this literature by conducting an empirical study with an individual level of analysis on nuclear deterrence against the nuclear terrorism threat. Borrowing from previous research, I measure deterrence by the willingness of the aggressor to initiate an attack during a crisis and investigate the impact of actor type on this willingness. I also identify three mediating factors related to the location, ideology, and organizational characteristics of the actor type that can be accounted for this impact. Utilizing a survey experiment design conducted online among university students, I gathered novel data. I used this data to conduct ordered logistic regression and distribution analysis. Results from the ordered logit model do not meet conventional levels of significance to establish an association between actor type and deterrence success. However, the results of the distribution analysis mostly support the effect of mediating factors on the use of nuclear weapons.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Shifts in American coercive diplomacy policies through energy weapon
    (Bilkent University, 2021-09) Bilgin, Gökberk
    This thesis focus on two issues. First, it evaluates the performance of oil as a weapon for coercive diplomacy from the perspective of the United States and its rivals. It investigates three different case studies: Japan 1941, Iran 2005-2015 and 2018- and Venezuela 2014. Second, it looks at how the oil weapon changed throughout time with the new developments in international politics and technology. Here, by focusing on the literature on coercive diplomacy, economic sanctions, and weaponized interdependence, I show how the United States that has the dominant military power, highest oil production capabilities, and the reserve currency combines these capabilities to apply coercion through oil weapon. The results show that oil coercion works when the demands require medium-level political costs for the targeted country. However, if the costs are getting higher, the target country does not comply.
  • ItemOpen Access
    How terrorists use the internet
    (Bilkent University, 2021-09) Özyurt, Eylül
    The advent of technology has offered various advantages to terrorist and insurgent groups as well as it has done to the states, business world, and ordinary individuals. Terrorists have been using the Internet with the purposes of propaganda; training, planning, and execution; and financing. This thesis aims to analyze how terrorists actually do use the Internet for those purposes, by which means. In that context, case studies are reviewed to explore the methods employed. Findings of this study reveal that terrorists still use the real world to carry out attacks more than they make use of the Internet for this aim. Therefore, the Internet use of terrorists has come as an adjunct to their real life activities. In that consideration, this thesis emerges as a preliminary survey trying to illustrate the link between terrorism and cybersecurity studies.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A study of belief change and stability with operational code analysis: the case of Erdogan
    (Bilkent University, 2021-07) Alpay, İzel Ekin
    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.