The Development of International Relations Studies in Turkey
Date: 1 June 2012
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
PhD in Politics
The major subject matter of this thesis is the development of International Relations (IR) studies as an academic discipline in Turkey. Despite its firm history, the high level of institutionalization and its considerable size, the IR community in Turkey (IRCT) has not been able to contribute to the theoretical studies of global IR. ...
The major subject matter of this thesis is the development of International Relations (IR) studies as an academic discipline in Turkey. Despite its firm history, the high level of institutionalization and its considerable size, the IR community in Turkey (IRCT) has not been able to contribute to the theoretical studies of global IR. The thesis suggests that Turkey and Western IR communities have been functionally integrated. Whereas, the Western IR communities tend to produce theoretical knowledge, the IRCT has mainly contributed to the Western IR literature as local/area experts. The IRCT tend to specialize on Turkish foreign policy, area studies and Turkey (as a region of study) with a special focus on political-security issues. The thesis analyzes the IRCT in terms of two major groups of academics: the Western-IR-socialized scholars and other scholars. The thesis aims to analyze major factors behind the functional division of labor between the Western and Turkish IR communities, Turkish IR scholars tendency to produce empirical knowledge related with Turkish foreign policy and the low level of theoretical coordination and fragmentation between the Western-IR-socialized and other scholars in Turkish IR. In order to explore the case of Turkish IR, the thesis uses Richard Whitley’s theoretical model in the sociology of science and focuses on the internal and external structure of the Turkish IR discipline. Both qualitative and quantitative research techniques such as descriptive statistics, questionnaire survey, semi-structured interviewing, publication analysis, discourse analysis, citation analysis and process-tracing method were used in the thesis. The thesis argues that the Western IR community has a high level of control over the competence and performance standards and key resources of knowledge production in IR. This tendency results in high level of mutual dependence and low level of task uncertainty between Western and Turkish IR scholars and lead to functional integration between them and encourage the IRCT to produce empirical knowledge related with Turkish foreign policy. Moreover, as a consequence of the low level of control over competence and performance standards, the low level of standardization of research skills and methods and the low level of common technical background and norms, the mutual dependence and theoretical coordination between Turkish IR scholars is low.
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