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Sadriu, Behar (2018) Legitimation Strategies and Turkey's Post-Cold War Engagement : The Case of its Role in the Albanian Parts of the Balkans. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Over the past two decades Turkey has emerged as a major force in many important parts of the world – the Middle East and the Maghreb, Central Asia and even Africa. It is in the Balkans however that Turkey has been the most successful in consistently gaining economically and politically. Why did Turkey transform its traditionally stoic foreign policy from the 1990s at the end of the Cold War and actively engage here, particularly with the Albanians? Moreover, how was it able to become one of the biggest players there, politically, militarily, economically and at the social level? Both constructivist (identity) based explanations and ones inspired by realism in international political writings have sought answers to these questions. This thesis offers a chance to supplement these and offer a new interpretation of the period, arguing that Turkey’s rise as a major factor in the Balkans in the 1990s can be adequately explained by a focus on legitimation strategies. These are made up of the rhetoric and narratives that enter social and political space and which are then made available to commentators to use to argue for or against particular policies. The mainstreaming and the promotion of such phenomena focusing on the ‘glorious Ottoman past’, a ‘shared brotherhood’ and history with the Balkans both in Turkey and among those in the Balkans helps to explain why Turkey re-engaged in the 1990s and how it managed to become powerful both at the high political and at the social level. That is to say, a focus on these can tell us better appreciate how certain policies – such as the decision to invest heavily in relations with Albanians – came to be accepted, deemed legitimate and how future possibilities were structured.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Fiona Adamson
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2019 10:55

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