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All That is International is Also Local

Assessing the Domestic Impacts of Turkey’s Coercive Migration Diplomacy

Published onAug 29, 2022
All That is International is Also Local

Migration diplomacy, or the use of migration to extract political and economic concessions, has attracted much scholarly attention in recent years (Tsourapas 2017, Adamson and Tsourapas 2019, Norman 2020). Yet, studies tend to focus on its international component, neglecting the domestic political space and how this political extraction impacts domestic political dynamics. To address this gap, we ask: what is the impact of migration diplomacy on domestic politics? Our study focuses on Turkey, an entrepreneur in the use of migration diplomacy directed toward the European Union. Through an analysis of parliamentary debates, political platforms and interviews with opposition politicians, we examine the nexus of international and domestic spheres, assessing how political actors beyond the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP in Turkish acronyms) – and particularly focusing on the main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP in Turkish acronyms) – engage in and maneuver through migration diplomacy. The findings of this study have implications beyond Turkey, demonstrating the transformative effects of migration diplomacy for domestic politics and electoral competition across Global South states.

Keywords: Domestic politics, political parties, refugee rentier states, Turkey, Syrian refugees

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