Here, you will find my publications, as well as the manuscripts that are prepared for submission.
Quinn, John James and Seyma Akyol. 2021. “Ethiopian Foreign Policy: A Weak State or a Regional Hegemon?” Journal of Asian and African Studies 56(5): 1094-1118.
Gurbuz, Mustafa and Seyma Akyol. 2017. “Ethnic Reforms and the Puzzle of Public Framing: The Case of Kurds in Turkey.” Contemporary Islam 11(2): 157-169.
Not Your Typical Naming and Shaming: Conflict Management Practitioners and Human Rights Advocacy Groups
Under what circumstances do human rights advocacy groups react to the efforts of conflict management practitioners in civil conflicts? This paper compares to what extent human rights advocacy groups react to peacekeeping operations (PKOs) and mediation cases that are concerned with the resolution of civil conflicts. The argument is twofold: First, I argue that human rights advocacy groups are more likely to react to PKOs by providing more coverage and expressing dissatisfaction and criticism. Second, expressed dissatisfaction by human rights groups has an inverse relationship with coverage. This is because human rights groups can best use their advocacy power when they are dissatisfied by naming and shaming the conflict management practitioners through providing more coverage. I test these arguments by conducting a statistical test using the original dataset I formed by constructing quantitative variables through publications of human rights advocacy groups.
Not All Peacekeeping Operations Are Created Equally: Global vs. Regional Dichotomy in Peacekeeping Deployment and Interaction with Human Rights Advocacy Groups
What type of conflict management efforts are better able to facilitate coordination between the third party providing the conflict management and human rights advocacy groups? Recent research finds that human rights advocacy groups (HRAGs) are more likely to collaborate with peacekeeping operations (PKOs). Following this finding, in this article, I compare PKOs deployed by the United Nations (UN) and regional intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) in order to understand to what extent these PKOs collaborate with HRAGs. Moreover, I observe the impact of the level of collaboration on the success of each type of PKO in terms of improving civilian functions. I test these arguments by conducting a statistical test using the original dataset I formed by constructing quantitative variables through publications of HRAGs. The findings indicate that HRAGs are less likely to collaborate with PKOs deployed by regional IGOs when coverage by HRAGs is used as a proxy of collaboration. On the contrary, when expressed satisfaction/dissatisfaction is used as a proxy for collaboration, HRAGs are more likely to collaborate with PKOs deployed by regional IGOs. Second, when regional powers are the major contributors to a UN PKO, HRAGs are more likely to express dissatisfaction about that particular PKO.
Conflict Manager Responds, Human Rights Group Shifts: Determinants of the Strategic Focus of Human Rights Advocacy Groups
Under what circumstances human rights advocacy groups shift the issue areas they focus on regarding peacekeeping operations (PKOs)? My argument is threefold: First, I argue that human rights groups shift their strategic focus when the third party is responsive to the criticisms/recommendations of human rights groups. Second, I argue that the length of the PKO, the existence of civilian peacekeepers and the identity of the third party deploying the PKO have an impact on the likelihood of shift in strategic focus by human rights groups. Third, depending on the responsiveness of the third parties, human rights groups change the type of publications they use as a means of advocacy: When the third party is not responsive to the criticism/recommendations of human rights groups, these groups would provide publications specific to certain PKOs. Moreover, under these circumstances, human rights groups would prioritize publishing letters, campaigns and press releases which are stronger efforts of advocacy. I test these arguments by conducting a statistical test using the original dataset I formed by constructing quantitative variables through the publications of Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW). The findings indicate that human rights groups shift their strategic focus when third parties providing the PKO is responsive to their criticisms/recommendations. Moreover, human rights groups use letters, campaigns and statements as a means of advocacy when third parties are responsive to their criticisms/recommendations.
What Do They Say? Verbal Behavior of Mediators
What motivates states to be involved in a mediation process and how does their verbal behavior
reveal their motivation? In this paper, my argument is twofold: first, by scrutinizing the rhetoric
of mediators, it is possible to categorize mediators as biased and neutral. Second, a mediator’s
verbal behavior reveals their motivation for acting as a third party in a conflict. By conducting
text analysis, I observe the rhetoric of a biased and a neutral mediator that attempted to mediate
the same conflict. The analysis indicate that the verbal behavior of a biased mediator is selfcentric whereas the verbal behavior of a neutral mediator focuses on the conflicting parties. This
is an important finding that contributes to the existing mediation literature as this project is the
first attempt to measure biasedness on individual level by observing the verbal behaviors of key
individuals involved in a mediation process.
Authoritarian Regimes and State Repression
What is the impact of different types of autocratic regimes on the level of state repression? The purpose of this paper is to unpack which types of authoritarian regimes repress more. I argue that the life-spans of authoritarian regimes have an inverse relationship with the severity of repression. However, when the life-span of the regime interacts with leadership or regime change, the inverse relationship diminishes and the level of repression increases. I test this argument by conducting a statistical test using Political Terror Scale (Gibney et al. 2018) and Authoritarian Regimes Dataset (Geddes, Wright and Frantz 2014) and find that the authoritarian regimes with longer life-spans are less likely to repress their citizens. However, this trend cannot be observed during times of regime and leadership change. When an autocratic state goes through leadership change, or shows progress towards democratization, the level of repression increases.