Science diplomacy: A proactive policy approach for international cooperation in science and technology and an alternative model for Turkey

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Science and Technology Policy Studies, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015

Thesis Language: English


Supervisor: Ibrahim Semih Akçomak


The main objective of this thesis is to analyse the mechanisms and the methods followed by the countries having “good practice” in efficient utilization of science diplomacy (SD) as international cooperation policy measure for national capacity building in science, technology and innovation (STI) and economic development. This aim will be achieved by answering the main research questions “What activities do countries perform under SD; how they are different from each other?” and “In comparison to other countries, how should Turkey structure the activities for successful SD?” By using qualitative data collected from 55 expert interviews with science counsellors, policy makers, academicians, and representatives of STI network, and comparative analysis of country case studies, this study analyses different models for SD and then proposes a model for the Turkish case. This thesis synthesizes best practices for feeding scientific advice to governments, universities and industry. Introductory research is needed to inform the design and implementation of the SD network as a tool for a proactive policy approach. It is found that countries which have clear and coherent overall strategy for SD leverage the impacts of SD on sustainable development. Governments require evidence-based practice on designing of policies and programmes. SD network of Turkey would allow better forecasting and inform responses to identified risks. As final remarks, it is recommended that Turkey should design SD strategies and policies in order to manage the nation branding and reputation, and to achieve sustainable competitiveness and long run growth.