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  • Author: Priya Singh
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Robert O. Freedman\'s edited volume, Israel and the United States: Six Decades of U.S.-Israeli Relations, is a compilation of an interesting assortment of essays by Israeli and American scholars from various fields, contending with different aspects of a complicated and multilayered relationship that comprises not only diplomatic and economic links, but also religious, legal, military and strategic connections as well as common beliefs. The first section of the book articulates the political ties between the United States and Israel since 1948. It contends with U.S.-Israeli diplomatic relations, an enquiry of the progression of the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, and an analysis of the evolution of U.S. public attitudes toward Israel. David Makovsky\'s essay, which deals with the U.S. and the Arab–Israeli conflict, emphasizes that the U.S.\'s relationship with Israel and the Arab world is not a zero-sum game and that the United States can maintain good ties with both sides. The essay reiterates that Israel has been an asset for the United States rather than a liability, which has been suggested by the likes of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Robert Freedman, in contending with the policies of George Bush and Barack Obama towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, brings to the fore the similarities in their approaches as well as the significant differences, with the former pursuing an episodic approach while the latter has adopted a more continuous line. In his essay on the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, Dov Waxman discusses the ruptures and fissures that have emerged within the lobby and concludes that there is no single organization that can persuasively claim to exemplify the vast majority of American Jews; as such, its clout/influence is expected to wane. Amnon Cavari\'s essay deconstructs the shifting trends in American support for Israel, contending that a decline in support among college-educated Americans along with an upsurge in support among evangelical Christians could weaken bipartisan backing for Israel.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel
  • Author: Laura R. Olson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: THE UNITED STATES supposedly is premised on “separation of church and state,” which means the American government should be neutral regarding religion. But is that really true? The author, a law professor and committed secularist, has strong opinions on this matter. Particularly since the 2004 presidential election that returned George W. Bush to the U.S. presidency for a second term, Ledewitz has been concerned that American secularism—both as an individual choice and a stance on the part of government—is under threat. Although the proportion of secular Americans has been growing rapidly in the twenty-first century, the successful marriage of religion and conservative politics in the U.S. might be inhibiting secularism from full acceptance as a valid alternative to religious commitment. After completing two earlier books on secularism in the U.S., Ledewitz reached the rather specific conclusion “that American constitutional law stood in the way of any serious engagement of secularism with religion” (p. xiii, emphasis mine). Thus, he sets forth in Church, State, and the Crisis in American Secularism to accomplish two tasks. First, he aims to detail how and why he feels current interpretation of “church-state separation” by the U.S. Supreme Court is problematic. Second, he endeavors to construct an alternative legal approach that would put religious people on common ground with secularists before the eyes of American law.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard Falk
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War marked the end of adversary patterns of alignment in the Middle East, and the ebbing dichotomy between the U.S. and USSR led to vast uncertainty. In response, then-President Turgut Özal stated, as early as 1991, that Turkey should seek an active foreign policy. It was not, until the AK Party came to power a decade later, however, that Ankara began to seriously question Turkey's acquiescence in Washington's strategic unipolarity. Ahmet Davutoglu's appointment as Foreign Minister emphasized Turkey's independence and activism, causing unease in Washington. Nevertheless, the U.S. has been generally flexible toward a more independent Turkish foreign policy, under the condition that it does not threaten vital U.S. interests.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Özge Zi̇hni̇oğlu
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The EU has been successfully exercising its conditionality as a key aspect of its enlargement strategy since the 1990s. However, with no accession prospect in sight and the perceived lack of credibility and consistency of the EU's conditionality, Turkey's already unequal partnership with Europe has been thrown further off balance. This article argues that this is not the case, as the EU retains its leverage over Turkey, even in the absence of factors that are known as central to the successful implementation of the EU's conditionality. This article suggests two main reasons. First, despite the rhetoric on the interdependence of Turkish and the EU economy, this interdependence is not on equal footing and the Turkish economy is heavily dependent on the EU. Second, there is rising concern in Turkey over free trade talks between the EU and the United States, with its potential impact on the Turkish economy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Fawaz A. Gerges
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: WITHIN Fawaz Gerges' text, The End of America's Moment?-Obama and the Middle East, the author endeavors to examine President Obama's implementation of inherently stagnant policies towards the highly volatile and rapidly evolving Middle East. Furthermore, Gerges elaborates on the manner in which the globalists and the Israel-first school succeed in shaping public opinion in the United States about the Middle East and how this process perpetually cripples Obama.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Laurence Raw
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: ALTHOUGH written from a variety of perspectives at different points in history, all three books reviewed here offer penetrating insights into Turkish politics past and present, as well as commenting on how they are interpreted both inside and outside the country. Written in English, while he was guest professor at the University of Marburg, Germany (having quit his post at Boğaziçi University in protest at the law curtailing academic freedom), Gündüz Vassaf's Prisoners of Ourselves comprises a series of meditations mostly written between October 1986 and March 1987. His basic thesis is straightforward enough: although human beings consider themselves members of the free world, they are actually subject to totalitarian rule. He surveys some familiar binaries—for example, madness and sanity—and shows how they are used to curtail individual liberties. Western historians have conventionally accepted that the Nazi period in Germany was one of collective madness. However the validity of that judgment can be called into question in the light of Adorno and Horkheimer's research, which discovered that anti-semitism in the United States was much higher than it had been in Germany after Hitler came to power. Vassaf concludes that everyone is part of that “collective madness,” in which one nation is willfully prioritized over another as a means of sustaining power (p. 35). Anyone questioning that notion is abruptly silenced.
  • Topic: Politics, History
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Masaki Kakizaki
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The US-Turkish relationship has faced trouble since the Iraq War. On the one hand, the current Justice and Development Party government has pursued new foreign policy initiatives toward its neighbors in the Middle East. Turkey's approach toward Iran, for instance, has caused policy makers and commentators in Washington to wonder "did the United States lose Turkey?" On the other hand, we have observed a rise of anti-Americanism in Turkey. During the Cold War era, anti-Americanism in Turkey was not so widespread; it was contained to leftist circles. Since 2003, in contrast, anti-American attitudes have become widespread among citizens regardless of their political and ideological positions. What accounts for this rise of Turkish public opinion unfavorable to the United States? Under what conditions could the image of America in Turkey improve? Giray Sadik's American Image in Turkey addresses these interesting and important questions. He considers how American foreign policy has affected Turkish public opinion toward the United States between 2000 and 2006.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Washington, Turkey
  • Author: Brannon Wheeler
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This first book in a new series from the Institute of Ismaili Studies includes a dozen essays on various aspects of the Islamic world, cutting across geographical and temporal lines, from a wide-range of scholars working in the UK, US, and Australia. The introduction to the volume, by its editor Amyn Sajoo, provides an original and broad overview of the major issues facing the study of the Muslim world today, including the events and aftermath of September 11, globalization and the so-called “clash of civilizations” model, the foundations of Islam, modes of expression within Islamic civilization, the role of women and liberal thought in Islam, and the increasing importance of “networks” on the conceptualization of what constitutes the Muslim world.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Australia
  • Author: Mark E. Hanshaw
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Scholarship devoted to the examination of the Muslim faith has matured in recent decades. No longer is Islam seen as a monolithic institution, but its greatdiver-sityand the varied histories and experiences of the community's members have been the focus of considerable scholarly attention. Yet, beyond the scholarly arena, the diversity of the Muslim community is not widely recognized.
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States
  • Author: Ann Stewart
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Pascale Fournier's book addresses the highly contentious and complex relationship between multiculturalism, gender relations, and family law in liberal states. It adds to the rapidly growing body of legal scholarship that grapples with the legal consequences of cultural diversity within states that once may have contributed through colonialism to the creation of pluralist legal systems 'elsewhere.' Unfortunately, this scholarship tends to replicate the historical divide with too little attention paid to the rich analyses of 'law' by those working on and within legal systems in what can now be described as the 'global south.' Hopefully the series in which Fournier's book is published (Cultural Diversity and Law edited by Prakash Shah) will bridge this gap.
  • Political Geography: United States, France, Germany
  • Author: Murat Yülek, Anthony Randazzo
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: A significant amount of research has already been made about the financial crisis. But a midterm primer is nevertheless necessary; it is critical to assess the nature of the crises to ensure that the proper lessons are learned. This article aims to present a history on the causes of the financial crisis that first emerged in the U.S. in 2007. Then it will analyze the roots of the current state of the economic crisis in Europe and the U.S. It will also assess the effects of the crises on the European and American economies. Consequently, a range of topics are discussed in the article, some of which have received deeper treatment elsewhere in economic literature, but have not been pieced together to provide a coherent past and present picture of the situation. The article concludes briefly on how this story relates to today's economic environment and the next steps that need to be taken going forward.
  • Topic: Economics, History
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: 2011 brought an opportunity for Israel and Turkey to mend their bilateral relations. The re-election of Erdoğan in June 2011, coupled with the dramatic events of the Arab Spring, provided a new political and regional context in which the relations could be reevaluated. This context enabled Turkey and Israel, with US mediation, to make progress towards drafting an agreement between them – an agreement intended to enable the two countries to restore normal working relations following the 2010 flotilla incident. However, the draft agreement was eventually rejected by the Israeli government in August 2011, leading to a new cycle of escalating tensions between the two countries. This article analyzes the Israeli decision-making process and discourse regarding the crisis with Turkey, and examines the changing circumstances of 2011, including the impact of the Arab Spring and the contrasting Israeli and Turkish reactions to it; the dynamics leading to the Israeli decision to reject the draft agreement; and the possible next phases in Israel-Turkey relations, including the conditions that can provide a new opportunity for the two former allies to become less alienated.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Israel
  • Author: Çiğdem Üstün
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The debate on the future of the Turkish-American partnership has puzzled scholars in recent years due to its constant fluctuations. In the first year of the Obama administration, the parties tried to heal relations with high level exchanges and a new conceptual framework to define the relationship. However, in 2010 the discord between the US and Turkey on major policy issues, including Iran and relations with Israel, once again strained bilateral relations. With the Arab Spring, the pendulum swung once again. Since the eruption of the people's movement in different parts of the Middle East, Turkey and the US have acted in coordination, and taken similar positions in debates in international forums. The Obama administration announced a new Asia- Pacific strategy, which will entail the concentration of its diplomatic, military, and economic resources to build partnerships and curb emerging threats in this region. This new doctrine may have a major impact on US relations with Turkey by opening up new opportunities for cooperation and new necessities to deepen the partnership.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Turkey, Middle East, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Maria Raquel Freire
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this timely volume, Alexander Warkotsch gathers a variety of authors from different backgrounds who work and research Central Asia to produce an empirically well-sustained analysis of the policies and practices in the European Union's (EU) approach towards the area. Warkotsch, an associate researcher at Würzburg University in Germany, has a strong research record on Central Asia, which together with the regional and EU expertise of the authors makes this volume an important contribution to studies about EU relations with Central Asia. In fact, this is an under-researched area and there are few studies attempting at grasping the dynamics underlying these relations. The volume coordinated by Neil Melvin1 (2008) was perhaps the first attempt at systematizing these relations, looking at the dilemmas the EU faces resulting from the development of closer cooperation in economic, security and political terms with Central Asian states while remaining loyal to its normative approach of promoting democratization, securing the protection of human rights and strengthening social justice. Michael Emerson and Jos Boonstra's study (CEPS, 2010) departs from the 2007 EU strategic document and brings a strong regional dimension to the study of EU's engagement and how it mixes with other actors very much present in the area, including China, Iran, Russia, Turkey and the United States.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Asia, Germany
  • Author: Ziya Öniş
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey redefined its geographical security environment over the last decade by deepening its engagement with neighboring regions, especially with the Middle East. The Arab spring, however, challenged not only the authoritarian regimes in the region but also Turkish foreign policy strategy. This strategy was based on cooperation with the existing regimes and did not prioritize the democracy promotion dimension of the issue. The upheavals in the Arab world, therefore, created a dilemma between ethics and self-interest in Turkish foreign policy. Amid the flux of geopolitical shifts in one of the world's most unstable regions, Turkish foreign policy-making elites are attempting to reformulate their strategies to overcome this inherent dilemma. The central argument of the present paper is that Turkey could make a bigger and more constructive impact in the region by trying to take a more detached stand and through controlled activism. Thus, Turkey could take action through the formation of coalitions and in close alignments with the United States and Europe rather than basing its policies on a self-attributed unilateral pro-activism.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Bill Park
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In a remarkable turnaround, Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government have recently emerged as close partners in a region increasingly characterized by uncertainty. They share a discomfort with the centralizing inclinations of Baghdad's current government, a stake in seeing an end to the PKK's campaign of violence, and a preference for greater unity between the various forces opposing the Assad regime in Syria. Their economies are increasingly interlocked, and the KRG's emergence as a significant producer of energy is of benefit to both parties. Furthermore, the Ankara-Erbil relationship is one that serves Washington's regional interests and perspectives well. However, serious differences remain. Iraqi Kurds still aspire to incorporate Kirkuk, and support greater autonomy for the Kurds of Turkey and Syria too. Turkey's support for Erbil could unintentionally help produce greater Kurdish autonomy throughout the region. This article explores some of the possible ramifications of the burgeoning Ankara-Erbil relationship.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey
  • Author: Burak Bilgehan Özpek
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Kurdish politicians were involved in Baghdad governments, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) became a federal unit with increased autonomy. Nevertheless, the KRG's quest for keeping its autonomy was challenged after the withdrawal of US forces at the end of 2011. When US forces left Iraq, the Baghdad government, headed by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, the leader of the Shiite State of Law Coalition, tried to centralize power. Unsurprisingly, Maliki's centralization efforts have generated criticism and secessionist repercussions among Kurdish political circles. Furthermore, the Maliki government has violated the basic principles of power sharing, which is sine qua non to strengthen the confidence building processes in divided societies. Increasingly, the Kurds' willingness to remain as part of Iraq considerably decreases as the Baghdad government consolidates its power and excludes the ethnic and religious groups from the political system.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Turan Kayaoğlu
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: What is global history? How does one study it? These are the main questions Dominic Sachsenmaier wants to answer. “It depends” seems to be his answer. Essentially, he argues against a single definition, rationale, and method for global history and shows the presence of multiple and equally valid global, historical perspectives. Debates in the United States, Germany, and China on global history all exemplify this variation.
  • Topic: History
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Germany
  • Author: Özden Zeynep Oktav
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Socrates' pupil Chaerephon once asked an oracle “who is the wisest of all men?” The oracle responded that Socrates is the wisest of all because of his self-awareness. According to philosophers from Socrates to Montaigne, Spinoza, Kant, true wisdom and full knowledge may be a utopian fantasy. In a world of uncertainty where mistakes are unavoidable facts of daily life for citizens and politicians alike, how politicians will be able to avoid foreign policy mistakes is the main concern of this book. There are some other questions of crucial importance which the book deals with: What are foreign policy mistakes and how and why do they occur? The answers to those questions are available in this book and it concentrates on the concept of power. Regarding the concept of power, the main question is “kto-kovo?” (Lenin's famous question, “who controls whom?”) The answers to the question “what are foreign policy mistakes?” and conceptualizing foreign policy mistakes are quite blurry and complicated. There may be lots of different kinds of mistakes, such as violating moral rules, lack of cognitive judgment, and policies costing too much and having unanticipated and undesirable results. The mistakes can be classified as omission (too little/too late) and commission (too much/too soon). For example, mistakes of omission are evident in the British policies towards Germany which failed to deter Germany's occupation of Sudetenland in 1938 and to reassure the Russians that they would negotiate an alliance against Germany. This failure of the British decision makers led to a non-aggression pact between Stalin and Hitler in 1939. The Katyn Forest massacre exemplifies best how Soviet Russia misperceived the gains in cooperating with Germany in the removal of Poland from the map of Europe because according to the authors, the Soviet decision to execute Polish POWs and bury them in the Katyn Forest is a foreign policy decision that falls into three domain; morality, intelligence and policy. It was a violation of international law, based on a diagnostic judgement blinded by ignorance of the future and by communist ideology, which led to a prescription for a policy action that alienated future allies.This, at the same time illustrates the mistake of commission (too much/too soon) and moral failure. Foreign policy choices are not only concerned with rational choices, but, as Axelrod and Jarwis clearly defined it, they also stem from some sources of mistakes such as subjective cognitive maps, heuristics, attribution errors, desires to maintain cognitive consistency and avoid cognitive dissonance, selective attention, and other emotional or cold cognitive biases. Khong explains why human beings are “creatures with limited cognitive capacities” by emphasizing that leaders, like every human, tend to turn to historical analogies for guidance when confronted with novel foreign policy challenges. However the issue is that the result is often a foreign policy mistake since this only helps the leaders “access analogies on the basis of surface similarities”.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, United States, Europe, Poland, Soviet Union, Germany
  • Author: F. Stephen Larrabee
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The United States has to deal with a very different Turkey today than the Turkey during the Cold War. The disappearance of the Soviet threat has reduced Turkey's dependence on the United States for its security and deprived the U.S.-Turkish security partnership of a clear unifying purpose. At the same time, Turkey's geographic role and interests have expanded. Turkey now has interests and stakes in various regions it did not have two decades ago. It is thus less willing to automatically follow the U.S.'s lead on many issues, especially when U.S. policy conflicts with Turkey's own interests. This does not mean that Turkey is turning its back on the West or the United States. Turkey still wants—and needs—strong ties with the United States. But the terms of engagement have changed. Ankara is a rising regional power and is no longer content to play the role of junior partner.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Turkey