The Ambitious Insulator: Revisiting Turkey’s Position in Regional Security Complex Theory

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Series Details Vol.19, No.2, July 2014, p165-182
Publication Date July 2014
ISSN 1362-9395
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According to the Copenhagen School's Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT), Turkey is an insulator state as it sits at the intersection of different security complexes without truly being part of any of them. This understanding of Turkey's position in the international security realm has offered a welcome contribution to the eternal debate about the country's security alignment between East and West. Turkey has, in recent years, become more active on the international stage, diversifying its relations and taking a more assertive stance regarding international security issues. This shift in its foreign and security policy is related to the country's ambition to become a great power in the near future. However, according to RSCT, it is quite improbable for there to be an insulator state that is also a great power. This article elaborates on the tension between this theory and Turkey's ambitions in an attempt to understand whether and how RSCT remains a useful theoretical framework for the understanding of Turkey's foreign and security relations.

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