Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Advisor

Peter Lindsay

Second Advisor

Michael Herb

Third Advisor

Mario Feit

Fourth Advisor

Louis Ruprecht


The dissertation examines in detail the concept of neutrality in political theory literature and assesses the arguments of the defenders and critics of Turkey’s laicism in light of such an examination. After showing the weaknesses and problems in the arguments of various political actors in Turkey, the dissertation defends “modus vivendi liberalism” as a possible solution for the conflicts about Turkey’s laicism. In that regard, the dissertation argues that certain aspects of liberal political theory can be appropriated for Turkish politics for the sake of ensuring stability and peace even if there might be problems with the possibility and desirability of neutrality. The dissertation also discusses what can constitute Turkey’s modus vivendi and offer certain ideas about what may and may not ensure stability and peace in Turkey.