The politics of policy reform in multiple streams: the case of asylum and immigration policy in Turkey

Date
2021-12
Advisor
Özçürümez, Saime
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

How did a policy entrepreneur managed to appear, successfully set the (decision) agenda, and drive a path-departing policy reform in asylum and immigration in Turkey in the 2000s? In seeking answers to this question, this study examines the politics of policy reform in asylum and immigration in Turkey from 2008 and 2013 through the analytical lenses of the Multiple Streams Framework (MSF). MSF, as initially conceptualized, puts a particular emphasis on actions compared to institutions in agenda-setting. Given the geographical setting –the United States (the US)– where this framework was born and developed, such an action-focused approach to the policymaking process is not surprising. The conventional wisdom, too, corroborates this argument by pointing to the US, where entrepreneurial efforts are rewarded. However, not all settings share the same politico-administrative conditions with the US. Therefore, a meaningful application of the MSF requires considering institutions. Perceiving policy styles as a master variable embedding formal political institutions and informal rules, including overlooked administrative traditions, this study offers to incorporate policy styles into multiple streams. Arguing that only after considering policy styles can the MSF shed light on the politics of agenda-setting, policy design, policy adoption, and eventually policy reform, this research revisits multiple streams through the prism of policy styles. In this way, it provides answers to the emergence, operations, and successful agenda-setting of a policy entrepreneur in Turkey’s statist policy style, where policy entrepreneurs are not encouraged as much as their counterparts in the US. This study bases on empirical evidence collected through programming and legislative documents and semi-structured interviews with key bureaucrats, experts, and representatives of international and national organizations in asylum and immigration.

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Public policy, Agenda-setting, Policy change, MSF, Policy style
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Published Version (Please cite this version)