Ontological (In)securities in Turkey and Israel: Unpacking the Nation-Building, Security Culture, and Conflict Resolution Triangle

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen; Lunds universitet/Master of Science in Global Studies; Lunds universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: This study explores two intertwined stages: a) the various processes contributing to Turkey’s and Israel’s historical development of national self-images and security cultures, b) how these conflictual dynamics and processes playing themselves out vis-à-vis two key conflict resolution initiatives taken in both countries. In order to study these stages, ontological security theory is applied to grasp: a) the impact of the psychological driving forces in the shaping of Turkish and Israeli national identities and security routines, b) and the leverages of these historically shaped notions on Turkey’s and Israel’s preferred conflict resolution agendas and mistrust perception towards the minorities, namely Kurds and Palestinians. In doing so, Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse analysis method is employed to deconstruct the Turkish and Israeli policymakers’ contextual fixations of the key signs, e.g., Turkishness and Israeliness, through the legal frameworks, national security articles and military laws shaping the very rationale and logic behind their prevalent mistrust of the Other. Put otherwise, drawing on the ontological security perspective, this thesis initially investigates Turkey’s and Israel’s nation-building processes as well as experienced internal clashes contributing to the mistrust formation; and explore their interactions with the first conflict resolution attempts. Then, it examines Turkey’s and Israel’s relatively successful second conflict resolution plans through a trust-building framework incorporated into the ontological security lexicon, i.e. strategic communication. The purpose is to further identify the plans’ shortcomings in order to proffer an alternative outlook for future peace projects.

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