December 18th IR SEMINAR – “Becoming a Bureaucrat in the Midst of Changing Foreign Policy Priorities” by Berkay Gülen – University of Washington

December 3, 2019

IR SEMINAR – “Becoming a Bureaucrat in the Midst of Changing Foreign Policy Priorities” by Berkay Gülen, University of Washington

Abstract: The politicization of foreign policy-making through popular support in international issues encouraged political leaders to build ad-hoc initiatives and to sideline old norms of foreign policy such as communicating through diplomats and relying on bureaucratic norms. How does the competition between the elected politicians and unelected bureaucrats in foreign policy-making shape in an era, where the centralization and personalization of foreign policy are the new rules?

In this talk, I will discuss this question through an analysis on the key state representative of Turkish foreign policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to understand the changing role of bureaucrats in foreign policy-making. Based on the interviews that I conducted with more than 80 foreign policy elites in Turkey and Israel, including senior diplomats served as ministers and undersecretaries as well as bureaucrats from different state departments, I argue that bureaucratic change in Turkish foreign policy is the pioneer of a broader trend in world politics, where foreign policy institutions can no longer solely operate with its principles, but have to compete with various state and non-state agents.

Bio: Berkay Gülen is a Ph.D. candidate in international studies at the Henry M. Jackson School, University of Washington. She received her MSc. degrees in international relations and Middle East politics from the Middle East Technical University and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her research focuses on bureaucratic politics in foreign policy analysis and the changing role of bureaucrats, mainly diplomats, in Turkey and Israel.

Location: CASE 127
Date: December 18th, 2019
Time: 17.00-18.30