The English school theory and Turco-German relations

Demirel, Murat
The conception of the English School Theory of International Relations (E.S.) – international society is so far prevalently applied to the totality of a group of states and their interactions, and recently for regional interactions. However, E.S. notes less on the interactions among states. The ultimate goal of this dissertation is to fill this gap and bridge the conception of international society and its institutions with bilateral state relations, through a case study of Turco-German relations. To this end, the dissertation utilizes five systemic institutions defined by Hedley Bull: Balance of power, diplomacy, international law, war, and great power management. This effort aims to contribute to the existing literature by shifting the focus of the E.S. towards state-level analysis, and by providing a novel template for the analysis of bilateral state relations. The study asks how Germany and Turkey take international society’s five systemic institutions into consideration while conducting their bilateral relations, and examines the Turco-German relations from 1701 to 1945, in three distinct periods. The main argument is as follows: Despite the fact that bilateral state relations in general, and Turco-German relations in particular are constrained and contoured by the institutions of international society; when individual and/or collective state interests come into conflict with these institutions, states tend to resist and transcend this institutional structure by producing alternative policies. However, these alternatives are not able to escape from the boundaries of international society’s institutional framework, and emerge as policy substitutions within the same institution or policy-shifts towards other institutions.