Leaders’ reactions to exogenous political shocks: an analysis of Necmettin Erbakan’s & Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s leadership traits and styles

Date
2023-02
Advisor
Çuhadar, Çerağ Esra
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Bilkent University
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English
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Thesis
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Abstract

Turkey has witnessed a leader-oriented history of politics. Considering the role of leadership characteristics as an explanatory variable, this thesis follows the leadership studies suggesting that personal traits and leadership styles play significant roles in shaping a leader’s policy-making process. Presupposing that the leader matters to adequately comprehend Turkish politics, this thesis focuses on the leadership traits and styles of two significant figures: Necmettin Erbakan (the founding member and leader of several prominent Islamic political parties in Turkey from the 1960s to the 2010s, namely the National Order Party (MNP), the National Salvation Party (MSP), the Welfare Party (RP), mentor of the Virtue and Felicity Parties); and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (chairman of the Justice and Development Party, Prime Minister between 2003 and 2014, and President since August 2014). In analyzing the role of the leadership traits and styles of Erbakan and Erdoğan in their decision-making process, the overarching methodological approach combines the Leadership Trait Analysis (LTA) with an at-a-distance assessment technique and the case study. Using LTA, this thesis discusses whether and in what ways Erbakan’s and Erdoğan’s traits and leadership styles changed in response to the military threats both leaders faced and their parties’ closure cases. Considering valuable and meaningful results delivered by LTA, this thesis empirically expands the literature on Turkish political leaders and contributes theoretically to leadership studies on the role of exogenous shocks in studying politics.

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Necmettin Erbakan, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Leadership trait analysis, Leadership traits and styles, Leader’s response to external shocks
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Published Version (Please cite this version)