Policy diffusion between the World Bank and Turkey: the social risk mitigation project

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2020-12
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Bölükbaşı, Hasan Tolga
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

Turkey adopted the Social Risk Mitigation Project (the SRMP) in 2001 with the incentives of the World Bank (the WB) to recover the effects of the 1999 earthquake and 2001 financial crisis on the poor. This thesis aims to indicate how conditionality, learning, and emulation as policy diffusion mechanisms operated together in the adoption process of the SRMP in Turkey. Policy diffusion literature generally tests these mechanisms individually to explore whether or not they cause policy adoptions. However, this thesis argues that diffusion mechanisms might be interrelated and work in complementary ways in policy adoptions. The Turkish case supports this argument by relying on process tracing methodology with semi-structured interview data and official documents. I argue that, during the adoption process of the SRMP, conditionality serves as a facilitator to adopt the project due to the financing by the WB. The WB, in the meanwhile, serves as a link establisher between Turkey and Latin American countries in the learning process regarding the possible outcomes of the project in addition to financing it. Emulation operates together with conditionality and learning with the emphasis on the prestige of the project among the international community due to the modernization of the social assistance institutions of Turkey. Both Turkish officials and the WB consider the adoption of the project as a prestigious and appropriate attitude.

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