Competitive Securitization in Civil-Military Relations: Internal Threats and Civil-Military Power Dynamics in Turkey, 1980-2016

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  • Civil-military relations (CMR) theory often holds that internal threat reduces civil control. However, this is not always the case: Turkey, which faced constant internal threats between 1980 and 2016, saw several periods of increasing civil control, particularly under President Özal (1989-1993) and the AKP after 2002. This study proposes that 'competitive securitization' between civil and military authorities explains these disparities in civil-military outcomes. In this framework, internal threat itself does not decreases civil control. Rather, civilian and military agents each 'securitize' internal threats, legitimizing measures that shift the civil-military balance-of-power in their favour. Where military securitization is more successful, civil control decreases, and vice-versa for civilians. This study applies this framework to eight key periods in Turkish CMR between 1980 and 2016. It finds that, with the exception of the early 2000s when EU accession dominated CMR dynamics, 'competitive securitization' provides a strong explanation for changes in Turkey's civil-military balance-of-power.

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  • Copyright © 2019 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
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  • 2019


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