Elite navigations in de facto states: exploring patron-client relationships in the case of Northern Cyprus



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Tartu Ülikool


This thesis focuses on the patron-client relationship between Turkey and TRNC. Through the use of patron-client relationships theory and ontological security theory, elite navigations as a concept is developed. Patron-client relationships in the international community are most visible in de facto states and this thesis analyses the case of TRNC and the actions of its political elite in their attempts to defy, dictate or demand patronage from the patron state. It was found that ontological insecurities experienced by the public and political elite motivate elite navigations. For elite navigations to be detected, it is important to judge accurately if ontological security is threatened, what sort of demands are made by the public and the personal qualities of the political elite in charge. Elite navigations are closely connected to ontological security and ontological security to exerting agency. That being said, since de facto states rely heavily on their patrons for physical and economic security, their agency is constrained and hard to detect. In the literature de facto states are not granted credit for being effective agents in international relations. Elite navigations and the findings of this thesis display that de facto states possess agency no matter how limited it might be.