Beyond Allies: Can Turkey and Qatar Become Complementary Nations?

27.04.2021

Alliances are a salient feature of international affairs. They are particularly salient in the volatile Middle East where there is a history of multiple and often intertwined conflicts among regional actors. This perspective paper focuses on a developing partnership between two regional actors, Turkey and Qatar, as a possible example of ‘complementary nations’. This concept has rarely been discussed by international affairs analysts and it is timely to launch such a discussion to make sense of widening and deepening ties between the two. While rooted in the alliance literature, the notion of complementary nations does not merely point to a traditional alliance between two or more states but to a deeper kind of tie. As Nachmani tells us, the concept of complementary nations started circulating in Israeli policy circles with respect to Turkey in the 1950s. The idea in Israel was that Turkey and Israel could indeed complement each other with vast Turkey putting size and human resources and tiny Israel putting advanced industrial and technological know-how on the table (Nachmani 1987). Can Turkey and Qatar complement each other in a similar fashion? Are Turkey and Qatar the new complementary nations of the Middle East? What is the key difference between alliances and complementary nations? Let me elaborate further below.  

The concept of an alliance has been assigned a number of divergent meanings across history.  During the 18th century, an alliance implied the pairing of two or more states for mutual security usually for a limited duration. In the 19th century, an alliance referred to a security arrangement regulated by a formal treaty involving a casus foederis or a situation whereby military commitments became operational. Softer definitions have started rising to take account of an increasing number of de facto alliances in the international system that lack formal arrangements but are akin to the ones that are formalized. In short, an alliance can be understood as the pursuit of joint efforts of greater or lesser of formality by two or more states to achieve more security. When seeking more security, states will usually try to influence the distribution of relative power to their advantage or to the disadvantage of their perceived adversaries.

Hear from us

Share your e-mail address with us to start the mail subscription.

    Share
    Event Calendar
    January

    February 2023

    March
    Mon
    Tue
    Wed
    Thu
    Fri
    Sat
    Sun
    30
    31
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    Events for February

    1st

    No Events
    Events for February

    2nd

    No Events
    Events for February

    3rd

    No Events
    Events for February

    4th

    No Events
    Events for February

    5th

    No Events
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12
    Events for February

    6th

    No Events
    Events for February

    7th

    No Events
    Events for February

    8th

    No Events
    Events for February

    9th

    No Events
    Events for February

    10th

    No Events
    Events for February

    11th

    No Events
    Events for February

    12th

    No Events
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17
    18
    19
    Events for February

    13th

    No Events
    Events for February

    14th

    No Events
    Events for February

    15th

    No Events
    Events for February

    16th

    No Events
    Events for February

    17th

    No Events
    Events for February

    18th

    No Events
    Events for February

    19th

    No Events
    20
    21
    22
    23
    24
    25
    26
    Events for February

    20th

    No Events
    Events for February

    21st

    No Events
    Events for February

    22nd

    No Events
    Events for February

    23rd

    No Events
    Events for February

    24th

    No Events
    Events for February

    25th

    No Events
    Events for February

    26th

    No Events
    27
    28
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    Events for February

    27th

    No Events
    Events for February

    28th

    No Events

    Diplomatik İlişkiler ve Politik Araştırmalar Merkezi

    Center for Diplomatic Affairs and Political Studies

    ‎مركز الشؤون الدبلوماسية والدراسات السياسية

    Centre des Affaires Diplomatiques et des études Politiques

    Центр дипломатических отношений и политических исследований

    外交事务与政治研究中心

    Back to top of page