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Sarigil, Zeki (2007) ENDOGENIZING INSTITUTIONS. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study provides an agency-centered theoretical framework of institutional change at domestic level. It argues that institutional change should be understood as a conflictual process having two stages: initiation and bargaining. At the first stage, certain internal and external developments help change entrepreneurs mobilize for structural change through mechanisms of power shifts and/or negative feedback (ideational or material). At the second stage, institutional actors simply bargain over alternatives arrangements. However this is a special form of bargaining in the sense that it takes place within an institutionalized setting. Such a bargaining process is not only a strategic competition over material benefits but also a symbolic contestation among institutional actors over ideational interests (e.g. legitimacy). This study provides a two dimensional perspective on bargaining within an institutionalized setting by modifying two logics of action: the logic of consequentiality and the logic of appropriateness. This theoretical framework is illustrated by analyzing recent substantial institutional changes in Turkey in two crucial issue areas: civil-military relations and cultural rights (i.e. the Kurdish issue). This study shows that the EU's decision of recognition of Turkey as a candidate state for the EU membership in 1999 was the main trigger which mobilized change entrepreneurs for initiating structural changes. This decision not only empowered pro-change actors but also increased opportunity costs of institutional status quo. However, an intense bargaining between pro-status quo (e.g. nationalists, bureaucratic-military elite) and pro-change actors (e.g. liberals, business groups, and Western oriented domestic groups) preceded these changes. Pro-status quo actors tried to legitimate their position by securitizing reforms (framing reforms as a threat to national security, national unity). As a response, pro-change actors framed changes as further democratization and Westernization in Turkey. The winners of this bargaining process were pro-reform groups because pro-status quo veto players such as the military and the ultranationalist MHP simply failed to block reforms since such an action would cause huge damage to their ideational interests (loss of legitimacy, credibility and prestige as a result of being an obstacle to Turkey's century-old Westernization process).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sarigil, Zekizes3@pitt.eduZES3
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPeters, B Guybgpeters@pitt.eduBGPETERS
Committee MemberSbragia, Alberta Msbragia@pitt.eduSBRAGIA
Committee MemberThomas, Daniel Cdcthomas@pitt.eduDCTHOMAS
Committee MemberPrizel,
Date: 26 June 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 6 April 2007
Approval Date: 26 June 2007
Submission Date: 25 April 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: agency; bargaining; civil-military relations; cultural rights; Europeanization; Institutional change
Other ID:, etd-04252007-132125
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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