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Third-Party Attitudes on Civil Conflicts: How the External States React to Intrastate Conflicts?

This thesis aims to define and explore third party attitudes. Previous literature on a third-party intervention that explores the motivations and methods of this phenomenon has overlooked the importance of the verbal clues and their possible impact on the civil war process. The leader statements as the cheap signals and communication tools are not considered as a strategical device utilized by external states. However, verbal clues are significant aspects that shape international relations and therefore the perceptions of conflicting actors might depend on these signals for their strategies in civil conflicts.


This thesis bridges the gap between third party intervention and communication in international relations. Third-party attitude is the new measure that reflects how third parties position themselves towards an intrastate conflict. This dissertation introduces a novel definition and operationalization of this concept that reflects the content of leader statements on civil conflicts.


As the second novel aspect, this dissertation analyses the critical determinants which change third party attitudes. The first empirical chapter introduces a case comparison and in-depth analysis of German, British and American attitudes on Turkey’s armed struggle with the PKK for the years between 2010-2019, which aims to detect the possible causal mechanisms. The second empirical chapter, on the other hand, explores whether the hypotheses are supported with a time-series cross-sectional data covering the American attitudes towards the European civil conflicts for the years between 1990-2019.


The dissertation supports that the regional security dynamics which impact the rivalry and alliance relations are the upmost important variable that shapes third-party attitudes. While the interstate economic relations also matter for issuing involving and positive statements towards the conflicting state.

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