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  • Author: Kim Beng Phar
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Soft power is based on attraction and the ability to persuade others to further one's goals. The key sources of soft power are said to derive from one's culture, democratic political system, and fair-minded foreign policy. Yet it is often left unsaid that soft power is a Weberian archetype. All the three of the above sources are ideal types; they may not necessarily exist in complete forms, because one's culture, political system and foreign policy are all subject to flaws, weaknesses and gaps. In order for Turkey to project its soft power in turbulent neighborhoods like the Middle East and Central Asia, and indeed as a matter of strategic policy in general, it is vital to have a strong conceptual clarity first. Only then can soft power be applied by going beyond attraction and persuasion purely. Home grown reforms that are strong, ethical, and sustainable, for example, can be sources of appeal and attraction to the Middle East and Central Asia too, given that both regions long to see good governance and exemplary leadership.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Asia
  • 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