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  • Author: Mohammed Ayoob
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay is an attempt to revisit Samuel Huntington's controversial thesis about a clash of civilizations. Though the author has been an early critique of Huntington, he finds substantial evidence that corroborates Huntington's central thesis when he analyzes the American policy toward the Middle East through the prism of the clash of civilizations paradigm. He suggests that the pattern of double standards that are witnessed in American foreign policy toward the Middle East is an integral part of a world where supposedly immutable differences based on civilizations form the primary source of conflict. In order to support his argument the author draws on examples from several cases, such as the American policies toward the Israel-Palestine issue, America's position on Iran's nuclear enrichment program, American reaction to the Israeli raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, as well as Turkey's longstanding candidacy for membership in the European Union. In all, he finds startling double standards that fit Huntington's paradigm, for as he pointed out double standards are an integral part of a mindset that sees conflict in terms of clashing civilizations.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Deniz Bingöl Mcdonald
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines whether the presence of imperial legacies in Central and South-eastern Europe affects their foreign policy stances and public opinion towards Turkish accession to the EU. It first discusses the boundaries of the ideational factors affecting the perception of Turkey, namely the historical legacy of the Ottoman Empire as a European power in Eastern Europe. Secondly, it looks at the ideational factors in how Turkish foreign policy, more specifically Turkey's EU membership, is perceived by Eastern and South-eastern European political elite and public. The author finds that in places where the Ottoman Empire is perceived in more historically distant terms, the more positive or neutral views are of Turkish membership. It concludes with a juxtaposition of Eastern European stances with Turkey's new foreign policy strategies. It recommends that Turkish foreign policy should not neglect advocacy in the western part of the old Ottoman sphere of influence where new EU members lie. These may indeed by transformed into new allies to support Turkey's bid against the opponents among older EU members.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Abdurrahim Sıradağ
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article explores the causes and dynamics impacting the development of the EU's security policy on Africa. The changing global structure in Africa has influenced the EU's foreign and security policy in Africa. The new global actors, such as China, India, Brazil, and Turkey have recently consolidated their political and economic relations with both African states and organisations with an impact on the EU's approach to the continent. At the same time, the new challenges, like international terrorism and immigration, also left their mark on the EU's policy in Africa. This article argues that the EU members' economic interests have played a central role in developing the EU's security policy towards Africa. Meanwhile, the new global threats and challenges and the emergence of new actors in Africa have also had an impact on the formulation and implementation of the EU's security policy in Africa.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, Turkey, India, Brazil
  • Author: Jeffrey C. Dixon
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Is Europe converging in terms of policy development? How has the global financial crisis affected this and policy development in Europe more generally? What policy differences exist between European Union (EU) member states and other European countries? These and other questions posed in this volume are largely motivated by an attempt to understand the implications of the EU's Lisbon Strategy, which the editor, Ipek Eren Vural, defines as “a medium term development plan to facilitate transformation of the European economy, and to coordinate the economic and social policies at the national level” (p. 2). On the basis of this strategy and the Open Method of Coordination (OMC), or “governance tool” to pursue the economic and social “pillars” of the strategy (p. 2), there is reason to expect some convergence in Europe. Focusing primarily on the abovementioned social pillar within what Vural labels as institutional, intergovernmentalist, and neo-Gramscian frameworks in her introduction, this volume explores a wide range of issues/policies, including (un-) employment, poverty, flexicurity, pensions, welfare states, and gender equality. Drawing on time-series data from Eurostat as well as other data sources, the contributors generally find that the Lisbon Strategy was not successful in achieving its social policy aims; it was also undermined by the global financial crisis. There has been some policy convergence in Europe, but this varies by the type of convergence, the time period examined, and the specific policy domain. This review will briefly summarize and analyze the parts of this book and conclude with some final thoughts about the volume as a whole.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • 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: Mehmet Babacan
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Our analysis will discuss Turkey's changing direction, if any, in terms of its trade orientation. This paper argues that Turkey's trade sector has maintained its long-standing direction towards the major European Union (EU) member countries with only minor setbacks, while new dimensions in bilateral trade have emerged not only due to Turkey's changing foreign policy considerations but also global economic transformations. Moreover, this paper argues that Turkey's trade partners are subject to these changes, as the epicentre of the global economy shifts, i.e. to the East. In the first section, a brief introduction with regards to Turkey's foreign trade under the AK Party's administration -since 2002 will be provided. The second section will discuss the scope of regional and worldwide changes in trade patterns and analyze the recent shift in Turkey's trade orientation in the context of Asia's economic and political rise in early 21st century. The Third section will focus on the role of political dynamics in Turkey's trade sector and structural issues.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ursula Wokoeck
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Drawing on contemporary archival and manuscript sources, Marc Baer unfolds the most fascinating story of Sultan Mehmed IV. Although his reign was remarkably long (1648-87), he has almost been forgot- ten or depicted dismissively as weak and foolish. Aiming to retrieve that lost history, the book's central theme is conversion – of Muslims to “proper” Islamic practices, of Christians and Jews to Islam, and of space. Thus, the reader encounters the Kadızadeli movement that first rose to prominence in the 1650s. The movement advocated a revivalist pietism, in the sense that it called for the effective prohibition of unlawful innovations.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kemal Kirisci
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: A string of uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt followed by those in other countries have rekindled the issue of Turkey constituting a model for reform and democratization in the Arab world, a point raised by many Western and Arab commentators. Independent of this debate, what is lacking in the literature is an analysis of how come there is a “demand” for the Turkish model. This article develops the concept of a “demonstrative effect” and argues that it is this “effect” that makes the Turkish model of interest to the Middle East and that this “effect” is a function of three developments: the rise of the “trading state”, the diffusion of Turkey's democratization experience as a “work in progress”, and the positive image of Turkey's “new” foreign policy. The concluding part of the article discusses several challenges Turkey has to meet so that its “demonstrative effect” can have a positive impact.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Hiroshima
  • Author: John Haldon
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This volume is a welcome contribution to the study of the last centuries of the existence of the Byzantine state, the 'empire' that until its demise in 1453 had dominated the Bosphorus and the link between Europe and Asia Minor, even though its political authority was minimal from the early years of the 14th century. Yet authority and legitimacy aside (for the Byzantines always saw themselves as the legitimate heirs to the Roman empire) it exercised both a fascination for those around it as well as an having an importance and, until quite late on, an influence far in excess of its actual military or economic power. Necipoğlu's book focuses on the politics of the empire, more particularly on the ways in which different groups within the empire adopted, fought for, or abandoned particular views of their situation within Byzantine society and in the wider world, and more particularly in the context of the influence, cultural, military and economic, of the regional powers around it. The empire's Latin neighbors in the southern Balkans on the one hand, along with the central Balkan powers of Serbia and Bulgaria (albeit minimally for the period in question), and the rising Ottoman power in Asia Minor and then Thrace on the other hand, frame this portrait, and the chronology is set by the last almost-century of the empire's existence, from the 1360s and 1370s to the 1450s. But the author's real interest is not foreign relations or military events, but rather the ideological, one might even say psychological, make-up of the various groups and factions within Byzantium, especially in Constantinople, Thessaloniki and in the southern Peloponnese, which can be detected in the sources of the period.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Balkans
  • Author: Nina Ergin
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This volume is a welcome contribution to the study of the last centuries of the existence of the Byzantine state, the 'empire' that until its demise in 1453 had dominated the Bosphorus and the link between Europe and Asia Minor, even though its political authority was minimal from the early years of the 14th century. Yet authority and legitimacy aside (for the Byzantines always saw themselves as the legitimate heirs to the Roman empire) it exercised both a fascination for those around it as well as an having an importance and, until quite late on, an influence far in excess of its actual military or economic power. Necipoğlu's book focuses on the politics of the empire, more particularly on the ways in which different groups within the empire adopted, fought for, or abandoned particular views of their situation within Byzantine society and in the wider world, and more particularly in the context of the influence, cultural, military and economic, of the regional powers around it. The empire's Latin neighbors in the southern Balkans on the one hand, along with the central Balkan powers of Serbia and Bulgaria (albeit minimally for the period in question), and the rising Ottoman power in Asia Minor and then Thrace on the other hand, frame this portrait, and the chronology is set by the last almost-century of the empire's existence, from the 1360s and 1370s to the 1450s. But the author's real interest is not foreign relations or military events, but rather the ideological, one might even say psychological, make-up of the various groups and factions within Byzantium, especially in Constantinople, Thessaloniki and in the southern Peloponnese, which can be detected in the sources of the period.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia