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  • 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: 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: Meliha Benli Altunisik
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has been traditionally viewed mostly as a hard power in the Middle East, due to its military and economic strength. In recent years, however, there has been a discussion on Turkey's soft power. This article focuses on two aspects of Turkey's soft power in the region. First, Turkey's relevance to the debate on political and economic reform is discussed. It is argued that because of Turkey's internal transformations its attractiveness has increased. In addition to having assets, Turkey is generally more willing to project soft power as well as having increasing credibility in the region. Second, the article focuses on Turkey's use of soft power tools, especially its eagerness to play third party roles in the management and resolution of regional conflicts. Turkey's roles in the Israeli-Syrian, Israeli Palestinian and Lebanese conflicts are considered as an example. The article argues that Turkey's soft power has increased in these two aspects and yet it also elaborates on existing and possible constraints in this regard.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • 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: Mustafa Aydin, Damla Aras
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: The political logic (i.e., political perceptions of the ruling elite in a given country and nature of the political relations with other countries) determines economic activity, not the other way around, among the proto-capitalist states of the Middle East. As the political ties has primacy in the region in determining the course of economic relations, even market oriented democratic (or quasi-democratic) countries have to accept the prominence of political-strategic relations when dealing with such states. This paper will examine the interrelated fluctuation of trade and political tensions between Turkey and its immediate Middle Eastern neighbours - Iran, Iraq, and Syria. It will highlight the political determinants of the relationship between these countries; will discuss the role of the US as the independent variable; and will assess the possible effects of the emergence of Justice and Development Party government in Turkey on country's political and economic relations with its Middle Eastern neighbours.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Syria