Understanding oscillations in Turkish foreign policy: pathways to unusual middle power activism
Mustafa Kutlay & Ziya Öniş (2021): Understanding oscillations in Turkish foreign policy: pathways to unusual middle power activism, Third World Quarterly, DOI:10.1080/01436597.2021.1985449
The conventional literature on the role of middle powers emphasises the importance of soft power, niche diplomacy and coalition building. This article explores a case of unusual middle power activism with a focus on recent Turkish foreign policy behaviour. It demonstrates how the interaction of domestic politics and external dynamics produced an unusual degree of foreign policy activism, going well beyond conventional middle power behaviour, with the government increasingly employing coercive diplomacy and militaristic methods. We demonstrate that unusual middle power activism in a shifting international order yielded ‘populist dividends’ to the ruling elite in the short run but led to a ‘triple governance crisis’ in the economy, politics and foreign policy, with each element feeding into the others in a path-dependent fashion.