Transforming Habitus of the Foreign Policy: A Bourdieusian Analysis of Turkey as an Emerging Middle Power

Download this article in PDF format


Since the end of World War II, the infamous structure-agent problem in studies of International Relations has perhaps never been as complicated and multi-dimensional as it is today. The popular phenomenon of the emerging middle powers (EMPs) has led to further conflicts—particularly in investigating the agent dimension. EMPs have also presented a new challenge to the conventional theoretical attempts. Employing a Bourdieusian understanding of structuration, this study aims to reveal the gap between theoretical expectations from and practical limitations of EMPs. The three chosen cases concern Turkey’s increasing foreign assistance, its mediation in Iran’s nuclear swap deal, and its involvement in the Syrian civil war. Selecting these cases has implications and affects projections for an EMP’s policy-makers with regard to discourse and actions within a boundary that the structure has plotted to halt other agents’ potential threats against the international system’s functioning. The distinction between high-politics and low-politics is also highlighted here as an important factor that determines the limits and positioning of EMPs in the international order.



An increasing number of scholarly articles have debated emerging middle powers (EMPs) and their potential in the international system. Along with their aggregate gross domestic product, EMPs’ robust institutionalization processes, including the BRICS, the MIKTA, and their subsidiary organs such the BRICS Bank, have led pundits to consider the idea that the EMPs and other non-Western powers, including Russia and China, are possible candidates for transforming the international structure.

Referring to an agent or a group of countries as contenders to a great power, or even as a game-changer in the international system, without considering the agents’ multi-dimensional internal aspects can be problematic. This is especially true in terms of inferring future implications from the visibility of rising power(s). Here, we offer a study that applies the structuration theory of Pierre Bourdieu to discussions of the EMPs. By integrating the low and high political concepts into these discussions, we can begin to understand the EMPs’ positions in the current international order. What we argue is that, similar to human beings, states also develop what Bourdieu calls habitus, which emerges in relation to the structural determinants. Habitus is both unifying and generative, i.e., although it reinforces what the international structure expects from the states and thus clusters their behaviors, it simultaneously provides the states with the capability to challenge this structure on some ends. We extend this argument by stating that habitus remains in line with the hegemon in high political issues; whereas in low politics it searches for discontinuities to step up further. In this respect, we utilize the case of Turkish foreign policy (TFP) to show how the change in habitus affects a country’s position in the international order.

Although Jeremy Youde (2016) offers an example of transition from the realm of low-politics to high-politics, the visibility of this occurrence does not prove effective enough to change the so-called international common sense, which says that the tolerance of international structure against the apparent emerging and reformist powers is not constant. In other words, the structural constraints upon the states are not exactly the same in every policy domain. Instead, the agents, especially the EMPs, can find extended boundaries, within which they can pursue relatively independent foreign policies, particularly if the case is considered low-politics. Thus, the power relations between the EMPs themselves and between the EMPs and the established powers vary within fields.

Bourdieu and Foreign Policy

At the center of Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology is the concept of relationality, which states that an individual’s practical behavior should be understood on three interrelated dimensions: individual dispositions (habitus), social positions (capital), and the current state of a social environment (field). With these three conceptualizations, Bourdieu aims to show how structure and agents, society and individuals – or, in our case, international system and the states – have mutual impact on one another, shaping the social reality “relationally” (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992, p. 96). “Any explanations of attitudes, discourses, behavior, etc.” of a social agent towards four forms of accumulated capital – economic, cultural, social, and symbolic –, therefore, “must draw on an analysis of both structural position (within the field, the field’s position vis-à-vis other fields, etc.) and the particular historical trajectory by which an agent arrived at that position [meaning,] habitus” (Benson & Neveu, 2010, p. 3). The agent’s practices are described under the term doxa, which implies that within a given structure, agents take their actions for granted or natural, although these actions might be strictly conditional per the rules and regulations (i.e., the structure). “Which choices we choose to make… depends on the range of our past options available at that moment…, the range of options visible to us, and on our dispositions (habitus)” (Maton, 2008, p. 52).

However, referring to the structure and agent duality, Bourdieu asks, “How can behavior be regulated without being the product of obedience to rules?” (Bourdieu, 1994, p. 65). This duality is a socialized subjectivity in the sense that the constitutive dialectic unites the agent or individual with the structure or social rules-regulations-modes (Pouilot & Mérand, 2013, p. 29). This unification occurs via the concept of habitus in two ways: as structured structures and as structuring structures (Christoforou & Lainé, 2014, p. 26). Whereas the internalization of systematically ordered rules, regimes, and regularities implies the existence of the former, the capability of an agent to go beyond the structural limitations to provide with novel practices, feelings, or beliefs for the system is associated with the latter (Maton, 2008, p. 51).

In a society, individuals have dispositions originating from their experiences and class inheritance. It is undoubtedly hard (if not impossible) to literally transfer such social implications to the international level. However, following Immanuel Wallerstein’s (1974) class-based analysis of states in the capitalist world-system, it is further possible that states are also open to develop such dispositions as based on their (economic) foreign relations history and the position they hold in the international system. Simply put, states being located in the center, the periphery, or the semi-periphery of the world-system are entitled to a sense of their place in the world and of their “natural” prosperity – in Bourdieu’s terms, habitus. As the states go through “internalization of [this] externality” (Bourdieu, 1990, p. 55) via habitus, the world-system secures its capitalistic structure and makes the international order overtly predictable.

International Relations (IR) is one of the most receptive disciplines in social sciences to interdisciplinary studies and frequently borrows terminology from other fields (Buzan & Little, 2001). The IR literature has been open to Bourdieusian interventions as well. Symbolic power, doxa, habitus, field, capital and reflexivity are among the key Bourdieusian concepts that IR utilizes, although they are originally developed to offer a solution to the agent-structure problem in daily life or societal relations. Bourdieu’s sociology helps evade mistakes such as “essentialization and ahistoricism; a false dualism between constructivism and empirical research; and an absolute opposition between the collective and the individual” (Bigo, 2011).

A number of studies attempt to connect Bourdieu’s sociology with IR. Rebecca Adler-Nissen, for example, is a leading scholar who conceptualized that IR theory needs Bourdieu, in the sense that he provides IR literature with a clear understanding of the effect of the relationality of symbolic and material resources on state sovereignty (Adler-Nissen, 2012). Richard Ned Lebow further explains this by pointing out historical instances of a king’s diminishing sovereignty when losing his symbolic power (Lebow, 2009, p. 21). On the other hand, Christian Lequesne (2015), in his study on the European External Action Service, regards habitus as a way to reveal the logic behind how rules are created in a newly established institution. Incorporating habitus into IR, he argues that “actions [of agents] depend mostly on their background knowledge based on ‘the acceptable, the possible and the normal’” (Lequesne, 2015, p. 13). Alongside that of the states, even the foreign policy of an international organization like the EU might be said to have habitus. For instance, the Copenhagen Criteria, thanks to their established values and principles, could be considered a habitus-generating norm employed by the process of European integration (Lucarelli & Manners, 2006, pp. 210-214).

Emerging Middle Powers, Habitus, and the Level of International Politics

If we are to apply the Bourdieusian habitus to IR, it will thus suggest that the international structure is neither immune nor immutable to the dispositions or behaviors of its actors, although this structure is also mostly responsible for constituting those behaviors. In fact, the structure is exposed to continuous relations developed around the behavior of states, regardless to their stance vis-à-vis the international order. Even the most indifferent or neutral states are capable of causing interruptions in the how the system functions, albeit unintentionally. States may construct their strategies and policies with regard to their past experiences and future expectations as based on those experiences (Pouilot & Mérand, 2013, p. 29). This leads us to consider the habitus of a state.

It is important to note that habitus does not predetermine the way states behave all the time. When there is an unexpected change in the structure, i.e., the rules and regulations of the international system, states make an extra effort to relocate and have stronger positions. As the structural pressure is relieved, non-habitual efforts come to light and independent foreign policies become visible in the international scene. However, the problem is that no matter the amount of relief experienced or how independently a state has constructed its foreign policy, the nature of the issue that it remains an integral element to this habitus-breaking behavior. Say, for instance, in a relatively loose international structure, where core countries cannot or do not impose highly-regulated constraints on those in the periphery, the peripheral states still follow the structural restrictions—remain bound to their habitus—with respect to the matters of high-politics, such as regional war-making, nuclear weapons, armament, etc. They, on the other hand, find more room to be vocal when it comes to matters of low politics, such as environmental issues, human and minority rights, and international institutions. The capability of a state to get rid of its habitus is determined not only by a change in the international structure but also by the nature of the issue on the table.

Table 1 offers a conceptualization of the extent to which a state is able to have an impact on the structure under the consideration of both the classification of agents, or their habitus and identity, and the nature of the issues. Here, the terms, “easy”, “medium”, and “high”, refer to the levels of capacity that states possess to transform structure in a given level of politics; i.e., either high-politics or low-politics. Following Gilpin (1984), the hegemon here implies the state that has established the existing structure of the world politics and maintains its power as the regulator and the monitor of it; i.e., keeping the habitus of other international actors in check, either as beneficiary or not harmful to the exiting relations. Wannabe hegemons, on the other hand, are those countries whose rise into the position of international decision-makers is seen as threatening to the status quo. That said, their unique material capabilities in regard to production, demographics, etc., make them important agents for the continuation of the world order. Therefore, getting rid of them would also be damaging to the hegemon, although their habitus of foreign policy might be regarded as potentially threatening for the existing structure. Furthermore, the Established Middle Powers are those countries whose international positions are established by the hegemon, and the continuum of the status quo is their habitual raison d’être (Jordaan, 2003, p. 167). Finally, the EMPs represent the reformist agents in the system. These agents lack the necessary means to be threatening to the hegemon and therefore act within the constraints constituted by the structure. At the same time, they are also pushing to loosen constraints in their targeted policy fields and eager to transform their traditional habitus.

Table 1: The extent to which an agent is able to transform the structure with respect to the level of politics

Issue / State Low-politics High-politics
Hegemon Easy Easy-Medium
Established Middle Powers Easy-Medium Medium-Hard
Wannabe Hegemons Easy Medium
Emerging Middle Powers Medium-Hard Hard

In fact, the current IR literature provides us with a clear distinction between middle powers as “established” and “emerging” (see Jordaan 2003; Scott, et al., 2010; Öniş & Kutlay, 2016). Sandal, for instance, argues that “the foreign policies of the new middle powers like South Africa, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil cannot be explained by the same tools that were utilized to study Canadian, Australian and Swedish foreign policies” (Sandal, 2014, p. 695). The EMPs differ from the established powers for having an especially highly unequal distribution of domestic wealth, an elevated level of regional influence and orientation, and unstable democracies (Jordaan, 2003, p. 168). The most prominent characteristic of an EMP is to pursue reformist and independent foreign policies by which the EMP also tries to amplify its voice (Sandal, 2014, p. 695).

Turkey as an Emerging Middle Power: Transcending Habitus

Turkey’s entrapment between the East and West as well as the pressure of being located in a turbulent geography has made its foreign policy considerably calculative and impassionate all throughout the twentieth century. However, contemporary popular discussions position the country as an EMP in the post-hegemonic world-system, and its policy-makers have apparently embraced it, as many instances also suggest. We argue here that Turkey’s new turn to be a proactive interest-seeker, especially in the Middle East, can be considered a deviation or a hiatus in its foreign policy habitus. After Ahmet Davutoğlu was appointed as the foreign minister by the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) in 2008, this turn has fully come into view (Hursoy, 2011; Inbar, 2011; Öniş, 2011).

In order to analyze whether this turn has proven successful, i.e., whether Turkey has become a full-fledged EMP, we study three recent instances to provide support for the habitual change in Turkey’s foreign policy direction. However, before that, there needs to be elaboration on its foreign policy habitus for almost eighty years prior to the JDP.

Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, famously stated, “Peace at home, peace in the world!” This notion has been a national doxa for the practice of TFP during the twentieth century, although Turkey employed coercive means in some cases, such as Turkey’s involvement in Cyprus and the cross-border operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Northern Iraq. The most important aspect in those years was the social and political alignment of the country with the West, especially with Europe. In that sense, Turkey might be called a developing semi-peripheral country “trying to establish a certain distance from some of its Islamic neighbors, countering Western Orientalism so as to enable greater association with the EU” (Jordaan, 2003, p. 178). The Middle East is “structured by power relations, objects of struggle and the rules taken for granted” (Pouilot & Mérand, 2013, p. 30), and was therefore regarded as if Turkey was not neighboring the region. More specifically, it was simply sufficient and rational enough to pursue a limited foreign policy for Turkey with no further ambition of getting involved in the Middle East.

Approaching the mid-2000s, we witnessed a different country that was perceived as an EMP attracting a high level of foreign direct investment, cash flow, and tourists from a wide variety of countries. Turkey has also been appreciated for its mediator roles between Afghanistan and Pakistan in South Asia, and between Israel and Syria in the Middle East (Kirişçi, 2009, p. 32). Based on the arguably idealistic worldview of Davutoğlu and the JDP as a political movement, Turkey started deepening its economic and political relations – initially as a soft power – in the Middle Eastern region (Oğuzlu, 2007). TFP has since been in the middle of confidence and over-confidence, and assertiveness and over-assertiveness (Öniş, 2011, p. 63), and encountering a number of international states and institutions involved in the region (Larrabee, 2007).

In order to discuss this shift from the Western-oriented tradition to the Middle East, the following cases need to be explained. The foreign assistance activities of Turkey represent the first case, where symbolic power outweighs realistic implications. The second case includes the failed nuclear swap deal in Iran, initiated by the cooperation of Turkey and Brazil, and shows how the US and the US-led structure were reluctant to accept a guarantee promised by even two assertive EMPs. Finally, the third case is Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war, which provides us with a chance to discuss the agent–structure mechanism that challenges EMPs in regard to the collided interests of agents, high-politics, and structural limitations.

Turkey as a normative power

Until the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency’s (TIKA’s) increased engagement with the Balkans, Central Asia, and Africa, Turkey pursued a lower profile in humanitarian aid, which can be considered a continuation of habitus. Sustaining political and bureaucratic consolidation, the JDP has accelerated the projects based on humanitarian diplomacy with the support of humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the Humanitarian Relief Foundation and the Diversity Association. Figure 1 illustrates the dramatic increase in the official development assistance (ODA) that Turkey has given away during the period of 2002–2014. In 2002, the assistance was mostly directed to the technical cooperation. By 2014 most of the assistance was provided for the alleviation of humanitarian crises.1 In addition to the state-level foreign assistance, on the sub-state level a number of Turkish NGOs gave Syria, Palestine, Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, and Chad about $370 million (US currency) in 2014 (TIKA, 2014, p. 14). As a part of the EMP group, Turkey adamantly offers an alternative humanitarian assistance paradigm to the current system, which is traditionally and mainly controlled by Western donors under the rubric of international organizations such as OECD and DAC.

Figure 1: ODA of Turkey between 2002-2014

Source: TIKA’s Report for 2014 Official Development Assistance, p. 9 http://www.tika.gov.tr/upload/publication/KYR%20%202014.PDF, Accession date: 28.11.2016

For almost a decade, Turkey has been an aspired humanitarian agent not only in the Middle East but also in certain regions of Africa and Central Asia (Bilgin & Bilgiç, 2011). Its traditional position, habitus, in the international system as being at the receiving end of donations has evolved into the position of a donor. This aspiration stems from Turkey’s three idiosyncratic characteristics: a non-bureaucratic foreign assistance structure, complementarity between the state and the NGOs, and its discourse constructed against the imbalances of the current world order, such as the inefficient aid policies of the IMF and the World Bank or the internal structure of the UN.2

The normative dimension of the TFP in this field has been in transformation especially after Turkey started an initiative. The Africa Action Plan in 1998 was a consequence of the foreign policy diversification method. Regarded as an issue of low-politics, the field of maneuver for humanitarian aid has been relatively larger. Furthermore, at the receiving end, the grantee welcomes help coming from an EMP rather than the hegemon or international organizations. Mohamed Nur, the mayor of Mogadishu, stated, “If I request computers from the UN, they will take months and require a number of assessments. They will spend $50,000 to give me $7,000 of equipment. If I request computers from Turkey, they will show up next week” (Westaway, 2013). In that sense, bilateral assistance has obvious superiorities over multilateralism, because high administration costs and bureaucracy are problems of international organizations where big donor countries lead (Westaway, 2013).

Another characteristic of Turkey is the heavy role played by the NGOs when providing assistance. For instance, the recent Syrian conundrum caused inflow of millions of refugees to Turkey’s southern provinces. In addition to the Turkish state’s billions of dollars’ worth of aid it spent in refugee camps, the NGOs also provide educational, cultural, sanitary, and alimentary aid for refugees from both southern provinces and big metropolitan cities like Istanbul.3

Turkey’s sui generis foreign assistance also stems from its discourse aimed at criticizing the established powers and current world order. As an EMP, Turkey aspires to have a new, perhaps reformist identity in the international system (Davutoğlu, 2013). The rhetoric, “World is bigger than five!”4 is a clear illustration of the discontent in the Turkish politics with the current international system (see Dal, 2016). To this end, while donating large sums of money and aid to the recipient countries or hosting millions of refugees in spite of the economic turbulences in the region, Turkey also discursively portrays itself as a powerful actor, a remedy to the “global injustice” established by the hegemonic structure (Haşimi, 2014, p. 129).

Turkey as a mediator

In 2010, as a consequence of its demanding nuclear program, Iran tried to make lucrative negotiations with regard to its long-time endeavor for uranium enrichment. However, Iran’s stance on the international order and the suspicious treatment by the Western countries made it impossible to finalize the negotiations in favor of the country. The negotiations were based on a uranium trade between Iran and the West, projecting that the former would obtain 120 kilograms of highly enriched uranium to build a medical nuclear reactor at the expense of waiving 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium (Reinl, 2010). Although the Iranian policy makers had been insisting they would benefit from highly enriched uranium in the health sector, this claim did not suffice for the Western counterparts (Kaplan, 2010). In between, Turkey and Brazil, two EMPs, attempted to mediate these negotiations.

For Turkey and Brazil, such mediation was regarded as a chance to have an impact on an issue of high-politics at the global scale, which would mean expanding their limits of international impact and a break from their habitus. Brazil’s mediation resulted in adherence from Russia. Russian Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev perceived this initiative as a final chance before the so-called fourth sanctions were to be implemented over Iran (Barrionuevo & Arsu, 2010; BYE, 2010). The uranium trade would mean that the probability of a further sanction might diminish, therefore a possible deal with the international institutions or societies would have meant a lot more for Iran.

On the other hand, Turkey, the co-moderator of the deal process, would be both a mediator between the parties and a provider of a geographical space for realizing uranium trade in a safe manner, according to a May 17, 2010 summit organized by Brazil, Iran, and Turkey. Moreover, based on a prospective deal between the parties, the foreign minister at the time, Davutoğlu, emphasized the unnecessity of a further sanction over Iran on the eve of the US’s announcement of a new sanction bill to pass the Security Council (BBC, 2010; Güvenç & Egeli, 2012).

There were a couple of reasons why the negotiations failed and the involvement of two EMPs did not make much difference. First, Brazil’s close relations with the Latin American leaders, whose political discourses were mainly based on anti-Americanism, irritated the US (Seale, 2010). Even though the US had offered almost the same deal with Iran eight months prior, after the mediation of Brazil and Turkey, the US repudiated it (Buchanan, 2010). Second, the US accomplished to bring other EMPs and Wannabe Hegemons (including Russia and China) around the idea that the fourth sanctions upon Iran should pass. In addition to the presence of the US, the lack of a robust institutionalization led by the non-Western actors also hampered the unification among the EMPs, as well as Russia and China, around the swap deal.

This case illustrates what Bourdieu calls a structuring structure, in which the individual interests of agents could be modified to get in line with those of the hegemon, and the maintenance of the status quo usually outweighs risks to be taken by the EMPs especially in high-politics. Perhaps the statement made by the then-Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim after the rejection best explains this practical limitation: “We will help whenever we can, but of course there is a limit to where we can go” (Hareetz, 2010).

Turkey as a game-changer

The turbulent structure of the Middle East assisted the transformation in the TFP after the Arab Spring, especially when it comes the conundrum in Syria (Islam, 2016). Different groups, including the US, the Kurds, Russia, the Syrian government, the Syrian rebels, and Turkey, are willing to play a role in this particular situation, where both discourses and the balance of power change rapidly and unexpectedly. Turkey wishes to be a game-changer in Syria, at times confronting the US, Russia, and the UN, by using material, economic, cultural, and symbolic powers (Sayarı, 2015, p. 134). Turkish involvement in the Syrian civil war has also become an issue of domestic politics. This is especially true as the major political figures are said to bring down the Assad regime and replace the authoritarian rule by promising a more inclusive and democratic government (Hinnebusch, 2012).

The change in the discourse against Assad in Turkey’s domestic politics and TFP, which helps the Syrian dissident rebels, might be regarded as two concrete examples to what extent Turkey has been trying to change the habitus following “the Westphalian understanding of state sovereignty” (Öniş, 2014, p. 208; Gunter, 2015, p. 107). Here, we witness a habitual departure where intervening in the Middle Eastern region with actual material power is at odds with the founding doxa of the country. For instance, Turkey’s proposal for a no-fly zone in the Syrian border was significant because it was one of the historically rare confrontations with the West, especially in high-politics (Üstün & Cebeci, 2012). The proposal was rejected by the US and the NATO powers (except for Germany), although Turkey regarded it as reassurance of its EMP position in the international order. Russia also interfered with the process by recapitulating the fact that the no-fly zone proposal did not belong to Germany but to Turkey. To reverse or stop Turkey’s efforts in Syria, Russia suggested consulting with the government in Damascus and the UN Security Council (DeutscheWelle, 2016) . The situation is further complicated by the involvement of the Islamic State (IS) and the Kurdish groups into Syria (Gunter, 2015, p. 108; Hawramy, 2016). This resulted in even further dimensions where the interests of Turkey and especially of the US collided (Ahmad, 2015).

As social and financial repercussions of deadly clashes between the Syrian regime and the opposition forces, as well as among the opposition forces themselves, continue, millions of Syrian citizens have flowed into neighboring states or to Europe. By July 2015, Turkey had spent about $6 billion and hosted nearly two million refugees (TCCB, 2015). Just after three months, the expenses jumped to $7.5 billion, which averages to $500 million a month (Çetingüleç, 2016). The fact that from 2015 to November 2016, the influx of refugees has risen to 2.7 million (UNHCR, 2016) indicates the incremental financial burden of hosting refugees living both in and out of the refugee camps (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Registered Syrian Refugees in Turkey after 2011

Source: UNCHR, Syria Regional Refugee Response, http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/country.php?id=224, Accession date: 29.11.2016


In this article, we first introduced Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of structuration within the realm of IR to understand the rise of the EMPs in the current international system. We argued that the degree of interaction between the EMPs and the international structure was highly dependent on the character of the issue in question. Then, we described three cases that presented Turkey’s arguably successful donorship, its mediatory activities in the nuclear swap deal between Iran and the UN, and its endeavors in Syria. These cases were discussed to illustrate the extent of the capabilities of a state with regard to the issues of both low politics and high politics.

No matter how many names are given to its agents—be it the periphery countries, developing countries, or EMPs—the defining characteristic of the world structure and market economy remains to be the polarization between the hegemon(s) and its (their) dependents. The currently growing literature that has been mentioned in this study and the name of the EMPs better imply the differences between dependent countries, although it does not track any changes in the direction of the flow of capital from the former to the latter. Among wannabe hegemons, established middle powers, and the specific EMPs presented in this study, the EMPs at the bottom of the capital flow face the most difficulties when desiring to play a decisive role in the structure, especially in the context of high-politics. All three cases taken from the TFP provide evidence for our general argument and demonstrate that departure from habitus is particularly hard for the EMPs. As represented by the Syrian crisis and the Iran nuclear deal, the new Turkish activism has made some progress in the country’s foreign relations with non-Western countries at the low-political level, such as with humanitarian aid and foreign investments (Altunışık & Martin, 2011). That said, Turkey is still lacking the necessary material conditions and international position to become the main actor, and seems to be bound by its founding habitus.


1 The categorical distribution of foreign assistance over last decade is available at: http://www.tika.gov.tr/tr/yayin/liste/trky_raporlari-24?page=1
2 For a conceptual review on the bureaucratic problems in foreign aid institutions: William Easterly (2002). The Cartel of Good Intentions – The Problem of Bureaucracy in Foreign Aid. CGDEV
3 For a visualization of the NGOs dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis, please follow, https://graphcommons.com/graphs/0711e621-a8c5-4651-a1d6-33106c7bb3f1
4 In this slogan, “five” refers to the permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely China, France, Russian Federation, the UK, and the US.


Adler-Nissen, R., 2012. Why International Relations Theory Needs Bourdieu. [Online] Available at: http://www.e-ir.info/2012/10/23/why-international-relations-theory-needs-bourdieu/ [Accessed 15 11 2016].

Ahmad, P. T., 2015. U.S.-Turkey Relationship and Syrian Crisis. Alternatives Turkish Journal of International Relations, 14(4), pp. 11-19.

Altunışık, M. B. & Martin, L. G., 2011. Making Sense of Turkish Foreign Policy in the Middle East under AKP. Turkish Studies, 12(4), pp. 569-587.

Barrionuevo, A. & Arsu, Ş., 2010. Brazil and Turkey New Nuclear Deal with Iran. [Online] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/world/middleeast/17iran.html [Accessed 13 10 2016].

BBC, 2010. İran, Türkiye ve Brezilya ile nükleer anlaşmayı imzaladı. [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.com/turkce/haberler/2010/05/100517_turkey_iran.shtml [Accessed 13 10 2016].

Benson, R. & Neveu, E., 2010. Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Bigo, D., 2011. Pierre Bourdieu and International Relations: Power of Practices, Practices of Power. International Political Sociology, 5(3), pp. 225-258.

Bilgin, P. & Bilgiç, A., 2011. Turkey’s “New” Foreign Policy toward Eurasia. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 52(2), pp. 173-195.

Bourdieu, P., 1990. The Logic of Practice, California: Stanford University Press.

Bourdieu, P., 1994. In Other Words: Essays Toward a Reflexive Sociology. Cambridge: Polity.

Bourdieu, P. & Wacquant, L., 1992. An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Buchanan, P. J., 2010. Take the Deal, Mr. President. [Online] Available at: http://www.wrmea.org/2010-august/four-views-the-turkey-brazil-iran-agreement-thanks-but-no-thanks.html [Accessed 14 10 2016].

Buzan, B. & Little, R., 2001. Why International Relations failed as an international project and what to do about It?. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 30(1), pp. 19-39.

BYE, 2010. İran’ın Nükleer Anlaşması Tamamlanmış Bir Anlaşma Değil. [Online] Available at: http://www.byegm.gov.tr/turkce/haber/ranin-nkleer-anlamasi-tamamlanmi-br-anlama-del/10276 [Accessed 12 10 2016].

Christoforou, A. & Lainé, M., 2014. Re-Thinking Economics: Exploring the Work of Pierre Bourdieu. s.l.:Routledge.

Çetingüleç, M., 2016. How long can Turkey afford growing refugee bill?. [Online] Available at: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/05/turkey-syria-growing-refugee-bill.html [Accessed 29 11 2016].

Dal, E. P., 2016. Conceptualising and testing the ‘emerging regional power’ of Turkey in the shifting international order, Third World Quaterly, 37(8), pp. 1425-1453.

Davutoğlu, A., 2013. Turkey’s humanitarian diplomacy: objectives, challenges and prospects,. Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, 41(6), pp. 865-870.

DeutscheWelle, 2016. Turkey proposes ‘secure strip’ inside Syria to protect border and refugees. [Online] Available at: http://www.dw.com/en/turkey-proposes-secure-strip-inside-syria-to-protect-border-and-refugees/a-19053732 [Accessed 18 10 2016].

Gilpin, R., 1984. War & Change in World Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gunter, M. M., 2015. Iraq, Syria, ISIS and the Kurds: Geostrategic Concerns for the U.S. and Turkey. Middle East Policy, 12(1), pp.102-111.

Güvenç, S. & Egeli, S., 2012. NATO’nun Füze Savunma Sistemi ve Türkiye. OrtadoğuAnaliz, 4(40), pp. 19-30.

Hareetz, 2010. Brazil Drops Role in Iran Nuclear Dispute. [Online] Available at: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/brazil-drops-role-in-iran-nuclear-dispute-1.297494 [Accessed 14 10 2016].

Haşimi, C., 2014. Turkey’s Humanitarian Diplomacy and Development Cooperation. Insight Turkey, 16(1), pp. 127-145.

Hawramy, F., 2016. Kurdish militias fight against Syrian forces in north-east city of Hasaka. [Online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/22/kurdish-militias-fight-syrian-forces-hasaka [Accessed 26 11 2016].

Hinnebusch, R., 2012. Syria: from ‘authoritarian upgrading’ to revolution?. International Affairs, 88(1), pp. 95-113.

Hursoy, S., 2011. Changing Dimensions of Turkey’s Foreign Policy. International Studies, 48(2), pp. 139-164.

Inbar, E., 2011. Turkey’s Changing Foreign Policy and its International Ramifications, Philadelphia: Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Islam, T., 2016. Turkey’s AKP foreign policy toward Syria: shifting policy during the Arab Spring. International Journal on World Peace, 33(1), pp. 7-42.

Jordaan, E., 2003. The concept of a middle power in international relations: distinguishing between emerging and traditional middle powers. Politikon, 30(1), pp. 165-181.

Kaplan, F., 2010. Are Brazil and Turkey Delusional or Deceptive?. [Online] Available at: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2010/06/are_brazil_and_turkey_delusional_or_deceptive.html [Accessed 26 11 2016].

Kirişçi, K., 2009. The transformation of Turkish foreign policy: the rise of trading state. New Perspectives on Turkey, Issue 40, pp. 29-57.

Larrabee, F. S., 2007. Turkey Rediscovers the Middle East. Foreign Affairs, 96(4), pp. 103-114.

Lebow, R. N., 2009. Constitutive Causality: Imagined Spaces and Political Practices. Millenium – Journal of International Studies, 38(2), pp. 1-29.

Lequesne, C., 2015. EU foreign policy through the lens of practice theory: A different approach to the European External Action Service. Cooperation and Conflict, pp. 1-17.

Lucarelli, S. & Manners, I., 2006. Values and Principles in European Union Forign Policy. London: Routledge.

Maton, K., 2008. Habitus. In: M. Grenfell, ed. Pierre Bourdieu – Key Concepts. Durham: Acumen Publishing Limited, pp. 49-66.

Oğuzlu, T., 2007. Soft power in Turkish foreign ppolicy. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 61(1), pp. 81-97.

Öniş, Z., 2011. Multiple Faces of the New Turkish Foreign Policy: Underlying dynamics and a Critique. Insight Turkey, 13(1), pp. 47-65.

Öniş, Z., 2014. Turkey and the Arab Revolutions: Boundaries of Regional Power Influence in a Turbulent Middle East. Mediterranean Politics, 19(2), pp. 203-219.

Öniş, Z. & Kutlay, M., 2016. The dynamics of emerging middle-power influence in regional and global governance: the paradoxical case of Turkey. Australian Journal of International Affairs, pp. 1-20

Pouilot, V. & Mérand, F., 2013. Bourdieu’s concepts – Political sociology in international relations. İçinde R. Adler-Nissen, (der.). Bourdieu in International Relations. New York: Routledge, pp. 24-45.

Reinl, J., 2010. US rejects Iran nuclear deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil and sets up new sanctions. [Online] Available at: http://www.thenational.ae/world/us-rejects-iran-nuclear-deal-brokered-by-turkey-and-brazil-and-sets-up-new-sanctions [Accessed 13 10 2016].

Sandal, N. A., 2014. Middle powerhood as a legitimation strategy in the developing world: The cases of Brazil and Turkey. International Politics, 51(6), pp. 693-708.

Sayarı, S., 2015. New directions in Turkey-USA relations. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 15(2), pp. 129-142.

Scott, J., vom Hau, M. & Hulme, D., 2010. Beyond the BICs: identifying the ‘emerging middle power’ and understanding their role in global poverty reduction, Manchester: Brooks World Poverty Institute.

Seale, P., 2010. The Turkey-Brazil-Iran Agreement: Thanks but No Thanks?. [Online] Available at: http://www.wrmea.org/2010-august/four-views-the-turkey-brazil-iran-agreement-thanks-but-no-thanks.html
[Accessed 14 10 2016].

TCCB, 2015. Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan büyükelçilerle iftar yaptı. [Online] Available at: http://www.tccb.gov.tr/haberler/410/32891/cumhurbaskani-erdogan-buyukelcilerle-iftar-yapti.html [Accessed 28 11 2016].

TIKA, 2014. Turkish Development Assistance, Ankara: s.n.

UNHCR, 2016. Syria Regional Refugee Response. [Online] Available at: http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/country.php?id=224 [Accessed 29 11 2016].

Üstün, K. & Cebeci, E., 2012. The Syrian quagmire: what’s holding Turkey back?. Insight Turkey, 14(2), pp. 13-21.

Wallerstein, I., 1974. The Modern World-System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century, New York: Academic Press.

Westaway, K., 2013. Turkey is poised to cash in on a stable Somalia. [Online] Available at: http://qz.com/124918/turkey-is-poised-to-cash-in-on-a-stable-somalia./ [Accessed 4 11 2016].

About the Author:

Hakan Övünç Ongur

Hakan Övünç Ongur is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Turkey. He is the author of Consumer Society, Neurotic Culture and Fight Club [Istanbul: Ayrıntı Publishing] and Minorities of Europeanization: The New Others of European Social Identity [Lanham: Lexington Press]. He also has several research articles and book chapters across his research interests.

Hüseyin Zengin

Hüseyin Zengin is a research assistant at Marmara University in the Economic History field. He holds his BA in Economics at TOBB-ETU and MA in International Relations at Koç University. His master’s thesis presents a comparison of emerging middle powers, namely Turkey and Brazil, in the context of their niche diplomacy activities in the sub-Saharan Africa. His main research interests include global governance, foreign assistance behavior, and emerging middle powers.