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  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: As one of Syria’s neighbors, Turkey has become a refuge for more than 3.5 million forced Syrian migrants. Though many of them are living in Turkey’s border cities, in or around the refugee camps, many others have already dispersed to other cities. Among these cities, Istanbul has the largest Syrian community. Drawing on a qualitative field work in Istanbul’s neighborhoods, this study explores the Syrian migration to Istanbul and reports the attitudes towards this movement of the local neighborhood and village headmen, known as muhtars in the Turkish local administrative system. As the study shows, their attitudes towards forced Syrian migrants are paradoxical, marked both by feelings of disturbance, worry and uneasiness, and at the same time welcome and support. The study concludes by discussing historical and cultural reasons for these paradoxical attitudes by relating them to the understanding of hospitality in Turkish society to show how socio-psychological explanations of attitude formation towards Syria’s forced migrants seem more appropriate.
  • Topic: Migration, Regional Cooperation, United Nations, Diaspora, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Istanbul, Syria, Ankara
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: In 2015 the forced displacement of Syrians entered a new phase with the sharp rise in the numbers of refugees arriving at Europe’s shores mainly through the Eastern Mediterranean route. Grabbing widespread media and public attention, this unprecedent refugee influx and its surrounding events are commonly dubbed as ‘Europe’s refugee crisis’, which as some scholars highlight, is a ‘re-contextualised’ version of already existing processes of politicisation and mediatisation of immigration. This paper intends to contribute to the debate on ‘mediatisation of refugee crisis’ by giving an insight on the role of Turkish media in telling its readers what to think about the ‘refugee crisis’ during this period of particular significance. The paper relies on a content analysis of front-page articles from three Turkish newspapers (Birgün, Hürriyet and Yeni Akit) between July and November 2015. By limiting our analysis to ‘small data’, we look closely how these newspapers on different sides of the political spectrum react to the spread of the refugee crisis to Europe and its implications on Turkey. We highlight the type of coverage and the definition of issues in this particular media content. Overall, we find that the highly mediatised coverage of the Aylan Kurdi incident triggered a significant discursive shift as it has in other national contexts. While all the three newspapers –regardless of ideological stance– were responsive to the spread of the refugee crisis into Europe, news coverage about topics such as socio-economic vulnerabilities of refugees, issues of legal status and social integration in the domestic context was minimal within our period of analysis. We also assert that the way the three newspapers frame the ‘refugee crisis’ especially in relation to domestic or foreign politics shows significant variation. While we find that issues related to border security and border violations received the most intense coverage during the analysis period, we highlight that the coverage is embedded in a humanitarian narrative rather than a security narrative.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Mass Media, Diaspora, European Union, Media, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Catherine O'Rourke
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: While international law has typically waxed and waned in feminist favours, contemporary feminist engagements reveal a strongly critical, reflective thrust about the costs of engaging international law and the quality of ostensible gains. To inform this reflection, this article draws on feminist scholarship in international law – and a specific feminist campaign for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security in Northern Ireland – to distil three distinct feminist understandings of international law that underpin both theory and advocacy. International law is understood, first, as a system of rules to which states are bound; second, as an avenue for the articulation of shared feminist values; and, third, as a political tool to advance feminist demands. The study finds that feminist doctrinalists, and those working within the institutions of international law, share concerns about the resolution’s legal deficiencies and the broader place of the Security Council within international law-making. These concerns, however, are largely remote for local feminist activists, who recognize in the resolution important political resources to support their mobilization, their alliances with others and, ultimately, it is hoped, their engagement with state actors. The article concludes that critical reflection on feminist strategy in international law is usefully informed by more deliberate consideration of its legal, political and normative dimensions as well as by an awareness that these dimensions will be differently weighted by differently situated feminist actors.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations, Women, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Northern Ireland
  • Author: Timothy Meyer
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article argues that the form of international agreements – binding hard law agreements versus non-binding soft law agreements – can be partially explained by states’ interests in promoting renegotiation in the presence of uncertainty and shifting power. I make this argument in three steps. First, I explain that states regularly use unilateral non-compliance as a renegotiation strategy. Second, I argue that making an agreement soft facilitates this use of unilateral non-compliance. Third, I analyse the conditions – uncertainty characterized by common interests (but not uncertainty characterized by distributive concerns) and shifting power – under which facilitating renegotiation through soft law will appeal to states. In particular, I argue that in the presence of these conditions preventing renegotiation creates long-term costs for states that can inhibit short-term cooperation. In effect, under these conditions the shadow of the future can inhibit cooperation rather than support it, as is conventionally thought. These conditions are common to many major contemporary subjects of international cooperation in a way they were not during the latter half of the 20th century, partially explaining the increased importance of soft law to contemporary international governance.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Law, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Timothy Meyer
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article argues that the form of international agreements – binding hard law agreements versus non-binding soft law agreements – can be partially explained by states’ interests in promoting renegotiation in the presence of uncertainty and shifting power. I make this argument in three steps. First, I explain that states regularly use unilateral non-compliance as a renegotiation strategy. Second, I argue that making an agreement soft facilitates this use of unilateral non-compliance. Third, I analyse the conditions – uncertainty characterized by common interests (but not uncertainty characterized by distributive concerns) and shifting power – under which facilitating renegotiation through soft law will appeal to states. In particular, I argue that in the presence of these conditions preventing renegotiation creates long-term costs for states that can inhibit short-term cooperation. In effect, under these conditions the shadow of the future can inhibit cooperation rather than support it, as is conventionally thought. These conditions are common to many major contemporary subjects of international cooperation in a way they were not during the latter half of the 20th century, partially explaining the increased importance of soft law to contemporary international governance.
  • Topic: International Law, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: David Hunter
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: This paper presents an overview of the current state of global environmental governance with an eye toward highlighting the challenges that are presented by the scale and speed of environmental change that we are now witnessing. The scale of anthropogenic environmental change has led to what many now dub the Anthropocene - reflecting that humanity is changing our natural planetary systems in ways that have fundamental implications on a geologic scale. It also harkens in an era when humanity will be called on to consciously manage on a planetary level massive environmental change and the economic and social impacts that arise from this change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America
  • Author: Selin Altunkaynak
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: Turkey undertakes an important role in responding to the Syrian humanitarian crisis by hosting the largest number of refugee population around the world through opening its borders to Syrian refugees subsequent to the conflict in Syria after 2011. Turkey has been managing the refugee phenomenon at the beginning with a discourse of 'guest'. The temporary protection regime for Syrian refugees in Turkey ratified in October 2014 on the one hand, and the discourse of 'guest' on the other, constitute significant basis to the sociological aspect of the matter at hand. By nature, the terms 'host' and 'guest' imply an element of temporariness. Against this backdrop, there is a pressing need to focus on the fact that over 2.5 million refugees settled in the urban areas will not be returning shortly to their country of origin even if the war is over now. This study, based on gendered perspective, aims to explore the factors determining the perception of the insider for the outsider and vice versa within the scope of Simmel's 'stranger' typology. Following Simmel's definition of the stranger, in this article I consider Syrian refugees as people who comes today and stays tomorrow. The methodology of this study is based on in-depth interviews with refugee women from Syria and native women in Turkey as well as focus group meetings in Hatay and Gaziantep provinces, conducted in the framework of my PhD thesis.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Migration, United Nations, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Sophie Kloss
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: Host societies typically draw boundaries towards immigrants on the basis of specific axes of diversity that are important to their self-understanding. This article analyzes Turkey's self-definition and resulting treatment of immigrants in the context of the current refugee influx by evaluating choices and justifications of political decision-makers. It argues that the highlighting of religious brotherhood towards Syrian refugees and the use of religious arguments to justify hospitality point to a recurrence of religion as key variable of identification in Turkish society and provides evidence for a neo-Ottoman turn. Also, it suggests that Syrian refugees in Turkey are mainly treated as temporary guests who are tolerated, rather than seen as permanent members of society. therebye, Turkey highlights a boundary towards outsiders and protects a homogenous core, thus employing aspects of an assimilationist mode of immigrant incorporation. Overall, this research outlines how the underlying self-image can find relevance in political decision-making such as the treatment of immigrants and thus sheds light on how boundaries and social categories are created and dissolved. It furthermore provides an indication of the state of contemporary Turkish society, which constitutes a foundation for future assessment on the direction it might be heading. this research outlines how the underlying self-image can find relevance in political decision-making such as the treatment of immigrants and thus sheds light on how boundaries and social categories are created and dissolved. It furthermore provides an indication of the state of contemporary Turkish society, which constitutes a foundation for future assessment on the direction it might be heading. this research outlines how the underlying self-image can find relevance in political decision-making such as the treatment of immigrants and thus sheds light on how boundaries and social categories are created and dissolved. It furthermore provides an indication of the state of contemporary Turkish society, which constitutes a foundation for future assessment on the direction it might be heading.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugees, Diversity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria, Ankara
  • Author: Kirsty Gover
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: When the UN General Assembly voted in 2007 to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), only Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA cast negative votes. This article argues that the embedding of indigenous jurisdictions in the constitutional orders of these states via negotiated political agreements limits their capacity to accept certain provisions of the UNDRIP. Once the agreement-making process is set in motion, rights that do not derive from those bargains threaten to undermine them. This is especially true of self-governance and collective property rights, which are corporate rights vested to historically continuous indigenous groups. Since these rights cannot easily be reconciled with the equality and non-discrimination principles that underpin mainstream human rights law, settler governments must navigate two modes of liberalism: the first directed to the conduct of prospective governance in accordance with human rights and the rule of law and the second directed to the reparative goal of properly constituting a settler body politic and completing the constitution of the settler state by acquiring indigenous consent. Agreements help to navigate this tension, by insulating indigenous and human rights regimes from one another, albeit in ways not always supported by the UNDRIP.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, United Nations, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada, United Nations, Australia, New Zealand, United States of America
  • Author: Rosemary Byrne
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The claims made by migrants seeking protection under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention) have created a staggering body of state practice emerging from the interpretation by national courts of what is the earliest universal human rights treaty. The first edition of James Hathaway’s The Law of Refugee Status, alongside Guy Goodwin-Gill and Jane McAdam’s The Refugee in International Law, is one of the essential texts on every refugee lawyer’s bookshelf. Now in its second edition, co-authored by Hathaway and Michelle Foster, The Law of Refugee Status is likely to maintain its standing.
  • Topic: International Law, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Refugees, Courts
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations, Mediterranean