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The bureaucratic policy capacity of the Turkish Ministry of the interior (2002 - 2016)

The bureaucratic policy capacity of the Turkish Ministry of the interior (2002 - 2016)
The bureaucratic policy capacity of the Turkish Ministry of the interior (2002 - 2016)
This research project assesses the bureaucratic policy capacity of the Turkish Ministry of the Interior (MoI) to understand and describe the complex capacity of the one of the most important public Turkish departments. It explores the coherence, interrelationships and integration of the three competences (i.e. the analytical, administrative, and political) in terms of three resource levels of capacity (i.e. individual, organisational and systemic).

After two decades of implementing the New Public Management (NPM) model, perceptions of the government’s ability to develop, implement, and evaluate policies are critical. The country’s policy capacity is limited because of the general incapacity of the Turkish public sector. These criticisms have triggered persistent reforms by the country’s Justice and Development Party's government since it came into power in 2002.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that previous assessments of bureaucratic capacity remain vague, biased, and not based on empirical research, especially fieldwork. The existing Turkish literature suggested some of the elements of policy capacity; the need was identified, however, for a more in-depth, holistic research focusing more on (bureaucratic) policy capacity of one Turkish public department in particular.

For this purpose, after conducting this literature review, I have determined two main research
questions:

1. Does bureaucracy give the minister the advice needed to reach a decision?

2. How has the bureaucratic policy capacity of the Turkish Ministry of the Interior changed during the reform years, 2002 – 2016?

In order to answer these research questions, I chose the ethnographic qualitative, single case study, research design because such a research describes the political-administrator elites’ world from their own standpoints. Ethnographic fieldwork also enabled me to use my insider role and to see everyday life of the political administrators. Thus, I can better understand bureaucratic policy capacity of the MoI. Such a vast understanding would not have been possible without the use of an ethnographic qualitative research design.

The research adopts data triangulation – the use of diverse data sources, including pattern of practice, talk, and considered writings. The accounts of senior politicians and prefects of the Mol are the most important data used in my research.

The key findings of this thesis could be listed under five interactive and interdependent main themes for observing the dynamic, interactive, interdependent and often overlapping facets of all sub-policy capacities of the MoI. To respond all research questions, the Turkish bureaucratic (administrative) tradition forms the mainstay of the themes due to its dominant role and interaction with the different elements of policy capacity. Therefore, in the denoting the themes, this tradition was placed in the central position.

 Dominance of Turkish administrative tradition

 Dominance of ministers’ political and administrative leadership roles over policy capacity of MoI

 Triumph of the Turkish administrative tradition over reform pressure

 The impacts of the dynamic external political environment

 Specific limits to policy capacity

The importance and contributions of this thesis are:

 Understanding and describing MoI’s policy capacity provides valuable information on its political administrators and external actors.

 This research redesigns the existing models of policy capacity and provides a framework for analysing bureaucratic policy capacity of less developed countries.

 It pioneers ethnographic research methods for assessing the policy capacities of other Turkish ministries.

 This research studied impact of ministerial role on the policy capacity of MoI. These issues have been understudied in the literature.
University of Southampton
Akcay, Mehmet
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Akcay, Mehmet
f45b3715-9747-4214-8e2b-a08d68e6270f
Rhodes, Roderick
cdbfb699-ba1a-4ff0-ba2c-060626f72948
Boswell, John
34bad0df-3d4d-40ce-948f-65871e3d783c

Akcay, Mehmet (2017) The bureaucratic policy capacity of the Turkish Ministry of the interior (2002 - 2016). University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 325pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This research project assesses the bureaucratic policy capacity of the Turkish Ministry of the Interior (MoI) to understand and describe the complex capacity of the one of the most important public Turkish departments. It explores the coherence, interrelationships and integration of the three competences (i.e. the analytical, administrative, and political) in terms of three resource levels of capacity (i.e. individual, organisational and systemic).

After two decades of implementing the New Public Management (NPM) model, perceptions of the government’s ability to develop, implement, and evaluate policies are critical. The country’s policy capacity is limited because of the general incapacity of the Turkish public sector. These criticisms have triggered persistent reforms by the country’s Justice and Development Party's government since it came into power in 2002.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that previous assessments of bureaucratic capacity remain vague, biased, and not based on empirical research, especially fieldwork. The existing Turkish literature suggested some of the elements of policy capacity; the need was identified, however, for a more in-depth, holistic research focusing more on (bureaucratic) policy capacity of one Turkish public department in particular.

For this purpose, after conducting this literature review, I have determined two main research
questions:

1. Does bureaucracy give the minister the advice needed to reach a decision?

2. How has the bureaucratic policy capacity of the Turkish Ministry of the Interior changed during the reform years, 2002 – 2016?

In order to answer these research questions, I chose the ethnographic qualitative, single case study, research design because such a research describes the political-administrator elites’ world from their own standpoints. Ethnographic fieldwork also enabled me to use my insider role and to see everyday life of the political administrators. Thus, I can better understand bureaucratic policy capacity of the MoI. Such a vast understanding would not have been possible without the use of an ethnographic qualitative research design.

The research adopts data triangulation – the use of diverse data sources, including pattern of practice, talk, and considered writings. The accounts of senior politicians and prefects of the Mol are the most important data used in my research.

The key findings of this thesis could be listed under five interactive and interdependent main themes for observing the dynamic, interactive, interdependent and often overlapping facets of all sub-policy capacities of the MoI. To respond all research questions, the Turkish bureaucratic (administrative) tradition forms the mainstay of the themes due to its dominant role and interaction with the different elements of policy capacity. Therefore, in the denoting the themes, this tradition was placed in the central position.

 Dominance of Turkish administrative tradition

 Dominance of ministers’ political and administrative leadership roles over policy capacity of MoI

 Triumph of the Turkish administrative tradition over reform pressure

 The impacts of the dynamic external political environment

 Specific limits to policy capacity

The importance and contributions of this thesis are:

 Understanding and describing MoI’s policy capacity provides valuable information on its political administrators and external actors.

 This research redesigns the existing models of policy capacity and provides a framework for analysing bureaucratic policy capacity of less developed countries.

 It pioneers ethnographic research methods for assessing the policy capacities of other Turkish ministries.

 This research studied impact of ministerial role on the policy capacity of MoI. These issues have been understudied in the literature.

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Published date: September 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 423434
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/423434
PURE UUID: d3d46eaf-323a-43b0-a7c5-a3a8cd51aefc
ORCID for Roderick Rhodes: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1886-2392

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Sep 2018 16:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:36

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