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  • Author: Emilian Kavalski
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The discussion of China's growing prominence in international life has attracted the increasing attention of policy-makers, the public and scholars alike. Usually sidelined by the mainstream, such interest in China's role and position in global politics has grown exponentially in the context of the deepening concomitant economic, social and political crises across Europe and North America – which, until very recently, were considered the traditional locales of power and influence in world politics. Indicative of the emerging weight and significance of non-Western actors on the global stage, the trend set by China seems to challenge the conventional framework of the study and practice of International Relations (IR).
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, North America
  • Author: Priya Singh
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Robert O. Freedman\'s edited volume, Israel and the United States: Six Decades of U.S.-Israeli Relations, is a compilation of an interesting assortment of essays by Israeli and American scholars from various fields, contending with different aspects of a complicated and multilayered relationship that comprises not only diplomatic and economic links, but also religious, legal, military and strategic connections as well as common beliefs. The first section of the book articulates the political ties between the United States and Israel since 1948. It contends with U.S.-Israeli diplomatic relations, an enquiry of the progression of the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, and an analysis of the evolution of U.S. public attitudes toward Israel. David Makovsky\'s essay, which deals with the U.S. and the Arab–Israeli conflict, emphasizes that the U.S.\'s relationship with Israel and the Arab world is not a zero-sum game and that the United States can maintain good ties with both sides. The essay reiterates that Israel has been an asset for the United States rather than a liability, which has been suggested by the likes of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Robert Freedman, in contending with the policies of George Bush and Barack Obama towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, brings to the fore the similarities in their approaches as well as the significant differences, with the former pursuing an episodic approach while the latter has adopted a more continuous line. In his essay on the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, Dov Waxman discusses the ruptures and fissures that have emerged within the lobby and concludes that there is no single organization that can persuasively claim to exemplify the vast majority of American Jews; as such, its clout/influence is expected to wane. Amnon Cavari\'s essay deconstructs the shifting trends in American support for Israel, contending that a decline in support among college-educated Americans along with an upsurge in support among evangelical Christians could weaken bipartisan backing for Israel.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel
  • Author: Candice Moore
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The use of the concept of agency in relation to Africa's foreign relations has, up to now, been very limited. This has often related to the actions of individual pivotal states, such as South Africa or Libya. Indeed, there has not yet been an in depth examination of African agency in international relations, making this volume a welcome addition. Admittedly, this is an enormous subject, one that has grown in significance and relevance given the deepened involvement of actors such as China on the continent since the end of the last century. Questions started to be asked about how African states could structure their engagement with an actor so obviously superior in economic and political power. However, this is not the first time that African agency has been addressed, as these questions were previously inspired by the post-colonial experience and the analysis of enduring Great Power involvement in African affairs, during and after the Cold War.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Libya
  • Author: Franck Düvell
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: States often fall out or collaborate over issues to do with international migration whilst migrants through their very actions shape the interdependence of states. Turkey and the EU also frequently argue over migration issues. Over the years, Turkey's economy grew significantly. It became an attraction and a safe haven to migrants and refugees. In April 2013, a new migration and asylum law came into force that responds to these new challenges. This was followed by the EU-Turkey visa liberalisation and readmission agreements. This contribution sketches some of the issues and notably the wider context to these latest developments.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Emre Ersen
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Critical geopolitics, which is a relatively new field of study for scholars of international relations, seeks to understand and analyze how politics is imagined spatially. To this end, it makes a distinction between three types of geopolitical reasoning: formal, practical, and popular geopolitics. Ahmet Davutoğlu is a very significant figure in terms of exploring the close relationship between formal and practical geopolitics in the context of Turkey due to his dual identities as an international relations professor and a foreign minister. Employing a critical geopolitical approach, this paper aims to discuss Davutoğlu's geopolitical ideas toward the Middle East by analyzing his writings and speeches to reveal the main images and narratives that shape his geopolitical understanding of this region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Aysegul Cimen
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Principles of Islamic International Criminal Law: A Comparative Search As one of the major components of the Islamic state, Islamic law has drawn considerable attention from different scholars both in the East and West. Particularly, comparative studies on the historical evolution of Islamic law and its application in modern legal systems are some of the major topics in the last two decades. Peters' Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice from Sixteenth to Twenty-First Century, Millers' Legislating Authority: Sin to Crime in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, Hallaq's Shari'a: Theory, Practice, Transformations, and Naim's Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari'a are some of the prominent books in the field.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Law, Islam, Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Andrey Makarychev
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper provides an analysis of the most recent changes in Russian foreign policy that became a matter of global concern in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis. The author advocates for a discourse-based approach to comprehend the new shifts in Russia's international posture. First, Russia has launched its own normative policies that incorporate a set of conceptual arguments, such as portraying Ukraine and Russia as allegedly bound by civilizational ties. Second, Russia is not only unilaterally imposing its power; it is also exploiting the opportunities for raising its role, which are embedded in the structure of its relations with post-Soviet states. Third, Russia's policies are largely inconclusive and inconsistent, which is conducive to the dispersal of hegemonic discourse and its potential fragmentation.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia
  • Author: Sadik Unay
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The regional geographical entity known as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been at the epicenter of global power struggles over the course of the last centuries with an ever-increasing intensity. While the region has been a popular subject in the literature of political science and international relations due to the sheer volume of conflicts raging within the parameters of its borders, writings on international/ comparative political economy focused on alternate regions such as East Asia characterized by a sustainable economic growth potential. This study aims to make a critical contribution to the political economy literature by conducting a theoretically and historically informed analysis on the transformation dynamics in the MENA region. To this end, the multi-faceted legacy of colonialism; the role of oil as a strategic resource; structural changes in the world economy; and divergent politicoeconomic reform trajectories in the wake of economic globalization will be evaluated.
  • Topic: International Relations, Oil
  • Political Geography: Middle East, East Asia, North Africa
  • Author: Nukhet Ahu Sandal
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: As the link between religion and international affairs has come under special scrutiny especially since 9/11, there has been an increase in the number of books and articles that investigate the issues of the public sphere from a faith-based perspective. Edited books have especially enjoyed considerable attention since they bring diverse voices in manageable bits. Some have explored theoretical links between international relations and religion, while others have drawn attention to more practical issues on the ground. Thomas Banchoff's Religious Pluralism, falling between these purely theoretical and completely practical projects, is a book worth reading especially given the diverse backgrounds of the 12 scholars it brings together. These contributors draw attention to the multiple roles religious actors have been playing in the international arena. Religious ideas constitute a market with its supply and demand side and the volume explores the actors, obstacles and possibilities in such a market. Especially with the trauma of 9/11 —and one can make the argument that the trauma actually started with the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran— there has been a disproportionate attention given to the violent manifestations of religion. Therefore, the acknowledgement of the constructive role of faith-based initiatives can still be considered a relatively new topic both to the academic and policy worlds. The authors discuss a number of contentious issues that have been subject to heated debates but due to the space limitations that pose a challenge to a thorough review of edited volumes, only a couple of issues are highlighted in this essay.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Mehmet Özkan
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Based on extensive literature and fieldwork research in international relations, intellectual history and political thought, Cemil Aydin has written an exceptionally detailed account of the boundaries and horizons of pan-Islamic and pan-Asian thoughts on world order. Although his research on the intellectual journey of these two main anti-Western movements only covers the period from the early nineteenth century through to World War II, it still has relevance to today as we speak of “the rise of the rest” and/or “the Second World”.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Ömer Aslan
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The quest to incorporate non-material factors into international relations has continued apace into the twenty-first century. After religion, culture and identity, now 'civilization' seems to be attracting a great deal of attention from international relations (IR) scholars. Civilizations in World Politics: Plural and Pluralist Perspectives, which is the result of a roundtable and a panel organized at the 2007 and 2008 annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, investigates the potentiality of the concept of civilizations in order to better explain world politics. The book consists of six case studies of civilizations (American European, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Islamic) in six chapters, bookended by an introduction and a conclusion by Peter J. Katzenstein and Patrick T. Jackson respectively.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, America, Europe
  • Author: Bahar Rumelili
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the identity dimension of EU-Turkey relations from the constructivist perspective in international relations theory. It contends that in EU-Turkey relations, European and Turkish identities are undergoing a continuous process of reconstruction and negotiation. In this process, Turkey's representational practices assume importance in reshaping European identity. In response to the arguments of those who oppose Turkey's EU membership on the identity ground this article claims that a constructivist perspective foresees the possibility that European and Turkish identities can be reconstructed in such a way as to make the justification of Turkish membership possible and desirable from an identity viewpoint.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Pınar Bilgin, Berivan Eliş
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article builds on the insights of critical approaches to the study of power and seeks to lay bare the poverty of power analysis in mainstream International Relations (IR). Part I presents a critical account of prevalent conceptions of 'hard power' in mainstream studies informed by realist IR and maintains that realism's power analysis is rather unrealistic insofar as it over-privileges material forms of power and focuses on the visible dimension of power relations to the neglect of the multiple (visible and non-visible) processes through which power is produced and expressed. Part II scrutinizes the concept of 'soft power'. While Nye's soft power analysis complements realist IR by highlighting non-material forms of power and looking at non-visible forms of power relations, it, too, remains shallow insofar as the production and various expressions of 'attraction' remain unaccounted for. Presenting more realistic accounts of the work power does in world politics requires following Lukes' footsteps to produce three- (if not four-) dimensional power analyses.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Enika Abazi
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses Kosovo's independence from a framework of political and legal perspectives and assesses regional and global responses to the declaration of independence. Kosovo's independence, it is argued, has revealed shifting strategic landscapes, security concerns and domestic developments in regional and international politics with significant implications for all actors in the region. Russia, for instance, calculated to restore its lost 'superpower' status and control Serbia's strategic oil industries while Turkey's prompt recognition of independence has increased its impact in the region. Kosovo's independence will be a test case for keeping peace and stability in the Balkans within the new dynamics of regional and international politics. The way to escape from regional and international rivalries in Kosovo and its environs is to enhance the forces of cooperation in this volatile region and avoid zero sum games among regional and international actors.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Kosovo, Balkans
  • Author: Alexandros Petersen
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Russia's new president, Dmitry Medvedev, should be expected to broadly continue his predecessor Vladimir Putin's foreign policy toward Turkey and the broader Black Sea region. Analysts who cast Medvedev as a mere Putin puppet, or those who anticipate a gradual increase in power for the new man in the Kremlin miss the crucial question about decision-making in Russia: how much influence will the siloviki – current and former security service officers – wield to implement policies based largely on mistrust and calculation? Russia's policies in the Black Sea region are unlikely to change much in substance, although Medvedev may adopt a more subtle, effective style in seeing them through. Their exclusionary nature - a product of the silovik worldview - should be expected to continue. Therefore, despite recent significant improvements in Turkey's relations with Russia, over time Turkey may find itself in an uncomfortable middle ground between its Western allies and its new-found friends in Moscow.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey
  • Author: Angel Rabasa, Cheryl Benar, Lowell H. Schwartz, Peter Sickle
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Radical and dogmatic interpretations of Islam have gained ground in recent years in many Muslim societies. Aside from a willingness to resort to violence to compel fellow Muslims to conform to their religious and political views, radicals enjoy two critical advantages over moderate and liberal Muslims. The first is money. Saudi funding for the export of the Wahhabi version of Islam over the last three decades has had the effect, whether intended or not, of promoting the growth of religious extremism throughout the Muslim world. The radicals' second advantage is organization. Radical groups have developed extensive networks over the years, which are themselves embedded in a dense net of international relationships. In this report we describe, first, how network building was actually done during the Cold War—how the United States identified and supported partners and how it attempted to avoid endangering them. Second, we analyze the similarities and the differences between the Cold War environment and today's struggle with radical Islamism and how these similarities and differences affect U.S. efforts to build networks today. Third, we examine current U.S. strategies and programs of engagement with the Muslim world. Finally, informed by the efforts of the Cold War and previous RAND work on the ideological tendencies in the Muslim world, we develop a "road map" for the construction of moderate Muslim networks and institutions. A key finding of this report—which one of our reviewers notes is particularly important—is that the U.S. government and its allies need, but thus far have failed, to develop clear criteria for partnerships with authentic moderates. The net result, already visible, is the discouragement of truly moderate Muslims.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States