Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Dilshod Achilov

Thesis Professor Department

Political Science, International Affairs, and Public Administration

Thesis Reader(s)

Weixing Chen, Carrie Oliveira


Why do countries engage in democracy promotion around the world? Why is the principle component of U.S. foreign policy abroad assistance with democratization? One answer is the Democratic Peace Theory (DPT) (also known as “Liberal Peace”). Accordingly, DPT states, as its basic tenant, democracies behave differently with one another than they do non-democracies, especially in relation to military altercations.

Why are some countries more successful than others in promoting democratic ideals around the world? In order to partly explain this question, I examine American and Turkish foreign policy initiatives in the Middle East from a comparative perspective. The United States of America and the Republic of Turkey both reflect the basic tenant of the Democratic Peace Theory in their foreign policies. Each maintains policies that promote the establishment of democracies and the perpetuation of democratic ideals in the Middle East region. Differences in policies are observable when consideration is placed on the principles of inclusion and exclusion in negotiating, nation building, and the promotion of national interests in foreign affairs. The United States maintains bureaucratic rigidity while Turkey exemplifies an open policy when negotiating with interested parties. An analysis of nuclear proliferation in Iran, the two invasions of Iraq since 1990, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reveals an increase and advancement of Turkey’s influence in the spread of democracy in the Middle East and a corresponding decline in that of the U.S. This approach might have strengthened Turkish strategic leverage in the region with comparatively greater (than the United States) ability to promote democratic ideals in the Middle East region through the continued building of partnerships and a dedication to stability of the region, the balancing of internal political ideologies, and the stability of Turkish international relations above all else.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

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