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Enabling ‘ambitious activism’: Davutoğlu’s vision of a new foreign policy identity for Turkey

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Building on the argument that a state’s history and location in the world are inherent parts of its foreign policy narrative which constitutes its identity, this article analyzes the spatial and temporal representations of Turkey in Ahmet Davutoğlu’s articulation of foreign policy. It employs a critical constructivist perspective and explores how these representations have shaped the identity of the country. It contends that Davutoğlu’s foreign policy vision for Turkey is an attempt to reconstruct the international role and responsibilities of Turkey through a transformed identity based on a reinterpretation of its historical heritage and geographic location. Further, it argues that Davutoglu’s foreign policy discourse depicts Turkey as the global representative, speaker and leader of a specific community of peoples, which in turn has enabled an ‘ambitious activism’ in Turkish foreign policy, which is distinct from the previous period’s proactive foreign policy.
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Keywords: Davutoğlu; Turkey; constructivism; discourse; foreign policy; identity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of International Relations, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Publication date: July 2, 2016

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