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  • Author: N. Nevra Esentürk
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: EU governance is characterized as a multi-level system in which various actors are involved in the policy-making procedure at multiple levels in a non-hierarchical way. During the course of the European integration process, EU governance has been brought forward as a response to the citizens' quest for a legitimacy through enhanced democratization in the decision-making mechanisms and as a tool that would increase the leverage and competitiveness of the EU to have an efficient way of functioning for the enlargement of the Union. In that respect, the legitimacy and the representative power of the EU and its institutions are put under scrutiny, as powerful and at the same time efficient decision-making mechanisms are necessary for the EU. However, although significant changes are enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty regarding the decision-making procedure and policy outcomes, it has been limited with struggle between cooperation and competition at vertical and horizontal levels under the shadow of supranational hierarchy that has created mistrust on the EU institutions and decision-making structures from the perspective of citizens. The article addresses this issue on the grounds of the reasons and the circumstances in which EU governance emerged, the principles and characteristics it is based on, the means and ways it utilizes, and the effects on the decisionmaking process of the EU.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Shamsul Khan, Mahjabeen Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: There is no doubt that relation between the Muslim world and the West is often dominated by simmering distrust and antagonistic feelings although they may not always boil over. Tensions and recriminations abound and so do arguments and justifications. The need to find common grounds do not get translated into intentions or sincere efforts to move forward as the past casts a long shadow over the present. Typecasting a billion-plus fellow human beings or their faith as objects of dread or hatred as is being done by the West through fomenting Islamophobia needs to be prevented. Muslims must be able to reassert their true identity and earn their rightful place in a world dominated by Western power and influence. This may begin to happen if Muslims denounce and repudiate all the wrong that is being done in the name of their great religion, speak for themselves, develop religious and community leaders who are well equipped to impart the right knowledge and effectively address contemporary issues that confront Muslim societies and countries, and revive the spirit and unity of the ummah. Only then can they effectively fight not just the menace of Islamophobia, but also the injustices and discrimination in their own countries and those that are perpetrated by the West. The West must also turn their gaze inward and admit their role in creating this 'Great Divide'; they need to realize that their overbearing attitude toward Muslims and relentless depiction of the latter as their common folk devil will inevitably have undesirable, serious, and long-term consequences.
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: <p>The Arab spring began with an uprising in Tunisia and subsequently spread to Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, Libya, Yemen and Syria. The protest has been referred to as the Arab spring and for others the Arab democratic revolution. Despite the substantial variants of the revolt it explains a component of a great collective shift from long tenure and authoritarian rule. The aftermath of the transition from authoritarianism to democracy should have been the establishment of independent democratic structures. This is the only way that a sustainable democracy can be guaranteed. This is where such factors as religion (Islam), monarchies, military and fundamentalism, come to be a crucial factor in analysing and assessing the success or failure of the Arab democratic revolution. This paper is of the opinion that a sustainable democracy within the Arab world cannot be guaranteed, in view of the above contesting variables for political/state power and influence. Each of these variables is not only anti democratic but present a contradiction in democracy. Egypt experience is instructive. What is thus needed is a frame work to manage and structure these diversities toward providing sustainable democratic political institutions that are in consonance with democratic tenets without radically changing the norms, values and nuances of the Arab society</p>
  • Author: Muhammed Kürsad Özekin, Zeynep Arıöz
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: With the rise of intra-state conflicts in the Middle East, particularly in the last two decades, the causality relationship between oil wealth and political stability has become a matter of debate in the literature. However, despite the proliferating research interest, the impact of oil revenues on regime stability and civil conflicts still remains contested in both theoretical and empirical terms. Bearing this limitation in mind, this article aims to present a fairly general but analytically broadened framework to explain the relationship between the decline of the oil-rentier states, and the rise of intra-state conflicts experienced in the Middle East in the past two decades. Putting matter into the historical context of the state formation and the colonial legacy in the Middle East this study presents a slightly different reading of the causality relation between oil revenue and the conflict-proneness of rentier states. Thus this article, to a certain extent, moves beyond the conventional explanations of the rentier state theory and argues that oil revenue cannot be taken as an explanatory variable of conflicts per se.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Tugçe Ersoy Oztürk
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The influence of religion in the foreign policy has recently begun to be discussed among the scholars of international relations field. That the role of religion as an attribute of individuals and communities and in its institutional connections with the state cannot be ignored has started to be widely accepted. This study argues that besides the material reasons stemming from realpolitik, there are also behind the scene, certain “cultural codes” that have played an important role on the actions and discourses of Turkey's leaders on the foreign policies and especially on the deterioration of Israeli - Turkish relations. This study seeks to find the effects, if there are, of religion in the Israeli - Turkish relations by exemplifying Turkey in its relations with Israel to see whether the recent rupture is a result of the religious orientation of AKP government.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel
  • Author: Muhammed Kürsad Özekin, Hasan Hüseyin Akkaş
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: This article pursues two main objectives. First, mainly drawing on empirical evidences rather than journalistic impressions and reports on the Arap Spring, it aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the sets of socio-economic and socio-political factors that have been deeply rooted in the region for more than half a century and which have driven (and continue to drive) a wave of uprisings across the region commonly labelled as the 'Arab Spring'. Thus, this study expects to present a slightly different reading of the Arap Spring by placing the issue into the socio-economic and socio-political context of the recent past. Secondly, by considering a range of factors such as the responses of the regimes, the role of security forces, the ethnic and sectarian makeup of the societies and the politico-institutional feature of states, it explains how the unfolding of events has differed from country to country and why some uprisings have succeeded in toppling regimes and others have not.
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: Deniz Göle
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: This article aims at presenting policy recommendations for Turkish decision makers with a view to address Turkey's needs to ensure effective and timely development assistance to fragile states. The analysis begins with a quick look at the controversial relation between aid, growth and poverty in order to provide a basis for understanding aid effectiveness as well as some of the ongoing debates and limitations in the development assistance field. It then gives an insight on the current state of Turkey's development assistance to fragile states and briefly explains major characteristics of Turkey's aid policies and practices in fragile state contexts. The study focuses on describing the necessity for shifting Turkey's development assistance paradigm and is concluded with recommending a new paradigm along with its operational framework in three pillars namely; Institutionalizing Peace, Building the Functional State and Risk Distribution.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Philipp O. Amour
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: In December 2010, a revolutionary spark in Tunisia initiated what is now referred to as the Arab Spring. Since then, many countries across the broader Middle East have been swept up in uprisings that have led to fundamental shifts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. The same drive for change has also led to minor changes in Jordan, Morocco, and elsewhere.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Morocco
  • Author: Ufiem Maurice Ogbonnaya
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring, a pro-democracy uprising which has been sweeping through North Africa and the entire Arab world since 2010, has been described as a cataclysmic revolutionary wave that has seen the over-throw of numerous political regimes in its wake. This has had great impacts on the political developments and democratic governance in the Arab world in particular and the world in general. Though the political, environmental and socio-economic factors and variables that resulted in and sustained the revolutions in the affected states appear similar in nature, they vary from one country to the other. Using the MO Ibrahim Foundation Index, Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index among others on selected indicators, this paper draws a comparative analysis of the key factors and variables that gave rise to the Arab Spring. The paper focuses particularly on the North African countries of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Findings show that the inability of governments in these affected states to respond adequately to the growing demands of political inclusion, good governance, job creation and policies of inclusive growth played fundamental roles in awakening the people's consciousness, resulting in the revolutions. This paper recommends the institutionalization of participatory and multiparty democracy and the implementation of people-oriented policies such as job creation and the introduction of poverty reduction programmes among others, as a means of sustaining the success of the revolutions.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Ayfer Erdogan
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The last two years have witnessed an unexpected series of events unfolding in the Arab World leading us to make comparisons with the fall of Communism in 1989. Developments in the Middle East and North Africa made headway at a rapid pace. The overthrow of governments in Tunisia and Egypt, the civil war in Libya and the ongoing inner conflicts in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen were just as unexpected and stunning as the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. It is ironic that many observers attempting to make sense of these events have chosen the term 'Arab Spring' to define this movement, which somehow recalls the Eastern European analogue 'Prague Spring' in 1968. Many political scientists and analysts viewed these events taking the fall of Communism as a common point of reference. The Arab Spring is reminiscent of the Eastern European Revolutions in 1989 in many respects, yet a deeper analysis shows that significant similarities are outweighed by key differences. This paper attempts to address the recent wave of democratization which has swept across the Arab world in a comparative context and discuss the similarities and differences between the Arab Spring in 2011 and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Eastern Europe, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain