Seminar: “Turkey’s Foreign Policy Roles and Events Dataset (TFPRED): Quantifying the Parallelism between Role Conceptions and Role Performance,” İsmail Erkam Sula (IR), G-160, 12:30PM April 13 (EN)

Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
Peacetalk: Young Scholar Series

“Turkey’s Foreign Policy Roles and Events Dataset (TFPRED): Quantifying the parallelism between role conceptions and role performance”

Ismail Erkam Sula, Department of International Relations

13 April Thursday at 12:30
Main Campus, G Building, Room: 160

“As James N. Rosenau (1966:37) once observed “we have many histories of American foreign policy but very few theories of American foreign policy.” Five decades have passed since this observation, yet the argument still holds for the state of the art in Turkey. We have many histories of Turkey’s foreign policy (TFP) but very few (if any) theories of it. Even the applications of existing FPA tools to the analysis of TFP remain limited. Observing this gap, the study at hand generates a ‘sui generis’ method out of a compound of two tools in the FPA literature: ‘Role Theory’ and ‘Event Data.’ Proponents of role theory claim that state foreign policies are conducted with an attempt to fulfill the role conceptions that the foreign-policy makers formulate in their minds. These role conceptions are usually identified in decision makers’ foreign policy speeches (words). Event data, on the other hand, provides the researcher with a systematic focus on the actual foreign policy conduct (deeds) of states. While combining these two tools, this study observes the parallelism between TFP ‘words’ and ‘deeds’. The study focuses on a quantitative comparison of Turkey’s foreign policy role conceptions and practices directed at five surrounding regions (Balkans, Southern Caucasus, Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Euro-Atlantic Region). The study also builds the Turkey’s Foreign Policy Roles and Events Dataset (TFPRED). TFPRED combines qualitative and quantitative analysis and contains large amount of data that the author collected with the use of two methods: hand-coded content analysis and computer-assisted event data analysis. The data is collected in four years, out of 36.000 news reports, and 87 foreign policy speeches (approximately 238.000 words) of Turkish decision makers. TFPRED enables researchers to observe the dynamics of the relationship between TFP decision-makers’ vision (reflected in their speeches) and the actual conduct of foreign policy (foreign policy events) of Turkey. Such dynamics provide insights on how the foreign policy machinery works in Turkey, so as to contribute to the emergence of a theory of TFP. ”

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