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Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University

Bucerius Dissertation Completion Scholarship

Transnational Actors, Foreign Policy and the Dynamic of Authoritarianism. The Case of Turkey’s Policy Towards Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish Regions (1990 – 2017)


Since the beginning of the conflict between the PKK and the Turkish state, the transnational dimension of the Kurdish reality has been blurring the lines between Turkey’s Kurdish domestic policy and its foreign policy towards its neighbours. How does the institutional battle for the control of the Kurdish file, which has domestic, transnational and foreign policy dimensions, take part in the dynamics of authoritarianism in Turkey? In their quest for the monopoly of the Kurdish file, state institutions need to rely on non-state and transnational actors. This research studies the evolving role of various transnational actors (ethnic, religious, economic) in the foreign policy making process of Turkey regarding the Kurdish regions of Iraq and Syria between 1990 and 2017 and its impact on the political regime of the country.

Yohanan Benhaim is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University. In his dissertation he explores the evolution of Turkish foreign policy towards Kurdish regions in Iraq and Syria (1990 – 2017). His research focuses on the transformation of civil-military relations in Turkey and on the role of transnational actors in the foreign policy making process. Yohanan is also the co-founder and co-director of Noria, a think tank based on a community of researchers specialized in international politics. He is an associate researcher at the Center for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkanic, and Centrasiatic Studies (EHESS) and at the French Institute for Anatolian Studies.

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