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Unrest as Incentive for Cooperation?: The Diversionary Peace Theory, Turkish-Syrian Relations and the Kurdish Conflict
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to investigate the link between internal and external conflict of states in the field of International Relations. More specifically, it is a critique of the Diversionary War theory, which argues that political leaders can instigate foreign conflict to divert the attention from domestic issues in order to secure their political positions. This paper will test an alternative approach to the Diversionary War theory called the Diversionary Peace theory, which inverts the logic of the original theory. It argues that leaders facing domestic strife have incentives to cooperate with other states in order to deal with the internal problems in a more cost effective way. Using process tracing methodology, the Diversionary Peace theory is applied to Turkey from 1984-1999, to understand how the Kurdish issue as a source of domestic conflict in Turkey affected the Turkish-Syrian relations. The Diversionary Peace Theory would assume that as the Kurdish conflict escalates at the domestic level, Turkey would be inclined to give concessions to Syria to deescalate conflict at the international level. This paper proves otherwise: as the domestic conflict escalates, relations actually deteriorate and cooperation becomes less likely. Therefore, it is both a critique of the Diversionary War theory and the Diversionary Peace theory. The main interpretation of the findings is that the theory is not applicable to those cases where the boundaries between domestic and international realms are too porous as in the case of the Kurdish politics. When the domestic conflict and international dispute is interlinked, as in this case, I argue that cooperation might not be possible. Future reseachers in the area are advised to pay attention to whether the domestic factor and the international factor are interlinked, how the level of domestic conflict affects foreign relations and the impact of domestic audience costs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 37
Keywords [en]
Diversionary Peace theory, Diversionary War theory, international conflict, Turkey, Syria, Kurdish conflict, process-tracing
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-313602OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-313602DiVA, id: diva2:1067590
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Political Science
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-01-23 Created: 2017-01-22Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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