Search

You searched for: Content Type Journal Article Remove constraint Content Type: Journal Article Publishing Institution SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research Remove constraint Publishing Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research Political Geography America Remove constraint Political Geography: America Publication Year within 25 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 25 Years Topic Politics Remove constraint Topic: Politics
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Nurullah Ardiç
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Secularism and Religion-Making Recent scholarship in the sociology of religion has produced fresh perspectives on the understanding of religion and its inter-relationships with society. Largely influenced by post-structuralist social theory, these new perspectives call for a re-evaluation of existing theoretical and methodological approaches as well as empirical analyses, as reflected in the oft-used terms to describe their projects, including “rethinking,” “imagining” religion and its “invention” and “manufacturing” a là “invention of tradition”. The term “religion-making” is one such concept that questions the traditional ways of studying religion (and its constitutive other, secularism). It refers to the reification by political and intellectual actors (with different motivations) of a religion (its beliefs and practices/rituals) based on certain taken-for-granted (binary) concepts, such as the religious/secular divide, within the discursive field of world religions. The collection of articles edited by Markus Dressler and Arvind-Pal Mandair brings together eleven theoretically-informed and empirically-focused studies on religion-making in different socio-historical contexts. It fits nicely, and contributes to, the above-mentioned recent trends in the sociology of religion and secularism. A strong trend within this scholarship is a critique of the “secular critique” of the Enlightenment-inspired secularization theory, which also implies a critical re-evaluation of the (secularist) notion of a clear-cut distinction between the religious and the secular. This is also a common theme among the articles brought together in this edited volume: each study questions from a post-structuralist angle (but focusing on a different aspect of) the assumption of the 'boundedness' of “religion” and “secularism” and their opposition to one another. The theoretical aim of the volume, according to the editors, is to problematize this dichotomous assumption and demonstrate instead the codependency of “secular” and “religious” discourses. Its empirical aim is to “examine the consequences of the colonial and postcolonial adoption of Western-style objectifications of religion and … the secular, by non-Western elites” (p. 3), but it also contains cases of Western actors. Moreover, the editors' lengthy Introduction contains a useful discussion on the philosophical foundations (from Kant to Heidegger, from Hume to Hegel) and current manifestations (in Taylor, Habermas etc.) of the epistemological hegemony of the religious/secular dichotomy and of the “universalization” of the concept of religion out of Western Christianity. The analyses contained in the volume address the processes of religion-making at three different levels. First, “religion-making from above” refers to the discursive strategy of reifying religion(s) from powerful positions rendering them an instrument of governmentality. This is often undertaken by nation-states in their efforts to reframe existing religious traditions in a docile manner. As the editors note, this strategy is also applied by individual political actors, intellectuals and NGOs, as exemplified by the famous American think-tank RAND Corporation's call for “rebuilding Islam” in a manner that would not constitute a threat to American interests worldwide. The same advice was reiterated in 2004 by Daniel Pipes, a member of the Zionist lobby in the US who was close to the Bush administration, who argued that the ultimate goal of “the war on terror” was “religion-building,” implying the neocon elites' desire to “civilize Islam” (p. 22). These examples show not only the fact that the notion of religion-making from above is extremely relevant to current global geo-politics but also a paradigmatic symptom of the secular-liberal hegemony over religion in Western imagination: all religious traditions are encouraged and/or forced to “fit in” the existing socio-political structures in the form of “protestantization” –i.e. becoming an a-political, “modernized”/secularized and docile religion with no agenda for change in the status quo. Therefore, this hegemonic secular discourse does not so much aim to cleanse the public sphere and politics from religion as to make the latter fit in with the existing system and, if possible, function as a source of legitimization for hegemonic powers.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • 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: Mücahit Bilici
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkish media frequently employ the term "White Turks" to describe the Turkish cultural elite. Although Turks are unfamiliar with American-style racial divides, the terms "black" and "white" are widely used to colorcode inequalities in Turkey. The common tendency to distinguish White Turks from Black Turks on the basis of wealth, however, fails to uncover the historical and cultural dynamics that gave rise to these two groups. This essay not only offers a necessary clarification of this popular heuristic device but also proposes a perspective for understanding the current standoff in Turkish politics between the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP, Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) and the secular establishment, with their distinct value systems and competing claims to modernity.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey
  • Author: Kudret Bülbül, Bekir Berat Özipek, İbrahim Kalın
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article, based on a book published by SETA, looks at the attitudes of Turkish people towards what is conceived as the West and Western culture. While some polls suggest a deep anti-European and anti-American sentiment in Turkey with a clear opposition to Christianity as the religion of the West, the current survey suggests evidence to the contrary. Survey findings show that there is no anti-Westernism in Turkey based on religion, culture, or civilization. Perception of the West is fragmented and does not lend itself to easy categorizations. There is no animosity towards Christianity. In fact, most participants use a respectful and even venerable language when talking about the Christian religion. While most participants do not feel comfortable with the invasion of Turkish society by Western cultural products, they see no essential conflict between the core values of the two cultures. While the perception of Western religion, culture and civilization is mostly fragmented and reveals considerable diversity, Western politics is uniformly perceived as negative and hostile.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion, Culture
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Joshua Walker
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The recent closure case brought against the ruling Justice and Development Party is a direct assault on Turkey's democracy. For this reason, America should not lose the opportunity to swiftly and unequivocally repudiate the establishment's attempts to re-assert control over Turkish politics by undemocratic means. The lack of a concrete resolution on the part of the U.S. in regard to the case has already resulted in a credibility gap. Given America's emphasis on and interest in Turkey's democracy and attendant reform process, a simple re-affirmation of its commitment to citizen's choices in free and fair elections would send a powerful message to a country that is on edge. Instead, Turkey is left with 'friends' who lack credibility and resolve at the worst possible moment. If the ruling party and its leadership are banned from political life, not only will Turkey lose its credibility in the Middle East as the only indigenous Muslim-majority democracy, the United States will also lose credibility in the world theatre for failing to support democracy in Turkey.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Islam, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey