Public Diplomacy in Authoritarian Regimes – The Case of Turkey
The project aims to understand the use of public diplomacy by authoritarian regimes with a particular focus on Turkey. Public diplomacy defined as the strategies of communicating with publics abroad to form opinions in the peoples' of other countries that inform the implementing country's ideas and ideals, institutons and culture as well as its goals, has seen a transformation in its strategies as well as content after the end of the Cold War. With the rise of a new authoritarianism in different parts of the world and the new tools for global communication, public diplomatic policies have been of major interest of states as China and Russia to affect the image of their country in the eyes of the international public. Motivated from this conceptual setting, the project seeks to answer how a regime transformation in Turkey happened in the last 20 years affected the country's public diplomatic acts and strategies. Given Turkey's shift in the 2010s towards a competitive authoritarian regime, the case provides a fruitful way to consider how public diplomacy policies change with the qualities of a regime and how they can be compared and contrasted to policies adopted by liberal democracies. Accordingly, the project seeks to answer the four related research questions indicated below:
1) How is public diplomacy practiced by authoritarian regimes, and what are the policies, implementations and tools they use differently than liberal democracies?
2) How has Turkish public diplomacy been impacted by the country’s transformation from democracy to authoritarianism, and how has this affected the country’s image and global reputation around the world?
3) What are the goals of Turkey’s new public diplomacy strategy and what are the methods the Erdoğan regime is using to shape the country’s foreign policy?
4) How successful are public diplomacy policies of authoritarian countries, and what is the future of public diplomacy in the world where authoritarianism is on the rise in a growing number of countries?
The project is funded by Einstein-Stiftung Berlin.