Turkey and the Alliance of Civilizations: Norm Adoption as a Survival Strategy

Ramazan Kilinc, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Kilinc, R. (2009). Turkey and the alliance of civilizations: norm adoption as a survival strategy. Insight Turkey, 11(3), pp. 57-75.

This article was originally published here: http://www.insightturkey.com/insight-turkey-volume-11-no-3/issues/78.


This article asks why Turkey recently adopted the emerging international norm of inter-civilizational dialogue as one of its foreign policy priorities. In addressing this question, we turn first to an assessment of the limitations of normative and realist arguments, then suggest that the Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) considerations of domestic political survival were necessary factors in the adoption of intercivilizational dialogue, even though in and of themselves, they were not sufficient. The AK Party government, circumscribed by the secularist establishment, strategically adopted the norm of inter-civilizational dialogue to create a legitimate space for its survival in Turkey’s domestic political sphere. This conclusion stems from the theoretical finding that in those states in which political power is not concentrated in the government, the domestic political considerations of the government gain priority in foreign policymaking