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The Rise of Radical Liberal Discourse in Turkish Foreign Policy

Change is a central concept in Turkish and global politics. It forms the basis of liberal ideology, alongside freedom, democracy, and equality. In this spirit of change, radical liberal thinkers question the state of contemporary international relations with a focus on justice and fairness. Ahmet Davutoğlu appreciates the importance of these liberal considerations, and he claims the global order is in a period of transformation, in which Turkey and the rest of the world will come into new political roles. In order to facilitate the formation of a fair, cooperative world order, Davutoğlu promotes a global consensus based on cosmopolitanism and multilateralism. These ideas for international reform are consistent with radical liberalism. However, he also considers the formation of a new global order according to his conservative and Islamic ideas—a position inconsistent with liberalism. This contradiction demands a better understanding of Davutoğlu’s stance in domestic politics and international relations, and a consideration of implications for Turkey’s global identity.

The Rise of Radical Liberal Discourse in Turkish Foreign Policy
Ahmet Davutoglu and US Secretary of State John Kerry they shake hands prior to a NATO meeting focused on the Ukrainian crisis during a Foreign Affairs ministers’ meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 25, 2014. AFP / Brendan Smialowski
 

Introduction

Since Since the end of the Cold War, reform and change have been two key concepts in Turkish foreign policy, as it has claimed a greater role in world politics. The reconstruction of the global political system offers an opportunity to small and middling powers in world politics. In fact, it is difficult to make a comprehensive road map of change in the international order in years following the Cold War. In wake of 9/11, the current world order and the liberal ideology have been criticized, and literature espousing alternative views about world order emerged.

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