Strategic Depth or Hegemonic Depth? A Critical Realist Analysis of Turkey's Position in the World System

Yalvaç F.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, vol.26, no.2, pp.165-180, 2012 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0047117811428331
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.165-180
  • Keywords: Turkish foreign policy, critical realism, Gramscian IR theory, strategic depth, ontological depth, hegemonic depth, TURKISH FOREIGN-POLICY
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper is an attempt to provide a critical realist analysis of the concept of 'strategic debth' recently being used in analysing Turkish foreign policy. The article provides a criticism of the realist geopolitical thinking on which the concept of strategic debth is based using the insights of the critical realist philosophy of science. It takes the concept of ontological debth from critical realism and extends it to Gramsci's analysis and develops the concept of hegemonic debth. Underlying the concept of hegemonic debth is the idea that geopolitical relations should be thought of in connection with the social structures that give rise to them. The article is intended as a contribution to a historical materialist analysis of Turkish foreign policy where a state-centric positivism dominates, as well as an attempt to develop a social theory of foreign policy based on critical realism.