Between Capability and Foreign Policy: Comparing Turkey's Small Power and Middle Power Status

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ULUSLARARASI ILISKILER-INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, vol.13, no.51, pp.3-20, 2016 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 51
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.33458/uidergisi.463071
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.3-20
  • Keywords: Turkey, Small Powers, Middle Powers, Vulnerabilities, Restrictions, DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS, DILEMMAS
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


IR literature has proposed tangible and intangible criteria for defining and differentiating rankings of countries, albeit without much success. The literature's limited success is primarily due to the subjective, unclear and immeasurable qualities of these criteria. The differentiation between small powers and middle powers is particularly ambiguous. This article proposes an amalgamated method, which combines foreign policy behavior capabilities to characterize and separate small powers and middle powers. There is a relationship between capabilities and a country's global status ranking that also determines foreign policy behavior. This also underlines a complementarity between national capabilities and foreign policy objectives. Lower capabilities means a low-key/restrained foreign policy but do higher capabilities mean a more proactive/highly strung foreign policy? Increased capabilities boost the position of a country from a small power to a middle power but do not completely eliminate constraints imposed by great powers. This artide examines Turkey's experiences since the 1930s as an empirical narrative of the complementarity between power and level of influence.