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The European Union and the Turkish military (1997--2007)Tuba Unlu
This dissertation asks how democratization within the context of Europeanization affects the demilitarization of politics. It explores the question through a case study of Turkish civil-military relations between 1997 and 2007. Conventional wisdom stresses the incentives that international organizations offer to civilians to establish civilian supremacy over the military. This dissertation demonstrates that these organizations may present various disincentives for militaries to comply with democratization efforts. While incentives include higher military budgets or more training opportunities, any increase in perceived or real threat levels, particularly with regard to the issues that are directly related to the military's security mission, or any decrease in the objective or subjective capabilities to oppose such threats, constitute disincentives. I argue that the success of Europeanization in the field of civil-military relations, and the success of democratization, for that matter, depends on whether the process alleviates or aggravates the military's threat perceptions. In that context, I hypothesize that if the military perceives the activities of an international organization as strengthening the social and political forces that the military has traditionally targeted, then the military becomes politically more active, to the detriment of democratization. Through the study of several policy issues under two general topics, political Islamism and Kurdish separatism, the dissertation demonstrates how and why the threat perception by the military has gradually increased or decreased, depending on the issue under examination, since the Europeanization process started. Within a framework based on strategic action, it then analyzes whether variations in threat perceptions correspond to changes in the military's political involvement. The findings suggest that Europeanization has caused the Turkish military's political involvement pattern to continue rather than breaking up the cycle, since it has not reduced but exacerbated already existing threat perceptions. The dissertation concludes that there is not necessarily a direct causal relationship between Europeanization and the demilitarization of politics. The outcome depends on whether the process provides armed forces with incentives to comply with democratization or disincentives to resist it.
Social sciences; European Union; The European Union; Europeanization; Turkey; Military; International law; Military studies; 0750:Military studies; 0616:International law
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