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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.1, (Spring 2002) 1 THE ACADEMIC PERCEPTIONS OF TURKISH- ISRAELI RELATIONS Bülent Aras* A frequently ignored or neglected component of foreign policy studies is the role of analysts in both the formulation of public policies and their attempts to legitimize or de- legitimize certain policies in the eyes of both policy makers and the public. Public policy analysts are considered to be experts, members of epistemic communities; what is important for our purposes here, however, are the transnational alliances among them. In addition to national-level efforts of epistemic communities, analysts also attempt to garner international audiences through the publication of books, articles, op-eds, media instruments, lectures, and participation in international organizations. These audiences allow them to forge transnational links that have an impact on the course of international politics. The intellectual products of public-policy analysts/critics help to redefine and redirect policy makers’ expectations and perceptions, subsequently leading to policy reform or modification. Often, a convergence of interest among different analysts motivates them to adopt the same position. The positions of analysts vary according to their worldviews, interpretation of events, and their distance from decision-makers—as well as their perceptions of the interests that are involved, including their own. The relations between analysts and state functionaries is generally unstable, subject to change depending on
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