Doctoral Dissertations


Gregory Ryan

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Political Science

Major Professor

Yang Zhong


While much research has been done concerning other factors affecting foreign policy, there have been few attempts to understand how culture affects foreign policy. This is in spite of the fact that many scholars have commented on the relevance of culture to foreign policy outcomes. The object of this research project is to demonstrate how a specific form of culture, how a state perceives its role in the world, affects foreign policy decision-making. Also, this research project seeks to demonstrate that this form of culture is rooted deep in the past but evolves due to transition in the social characteristics of the international system. As culture evolves, specific patterns of decision-making manifest themselves. The specific patterns of decision-making to be analyzed in this project are Turkey and China in the period between WWI and the end of the Cold War. A comparison of Turkish and Chinese decision-making under similar circumstances, the Turkish decision to comply with American demands in the Cyprus crisis of 1964 and the Chinese decision to ignore Soviet attempts to deter the Chinese invasion of Vietnam in 1979, will provide a more focused depiction of how differing cultural perspectives affect the way leaders understand their foreign policy alternatives and affect their decisions.

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