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  • Author: Zeynep Sahin Mencutek, N. Ela Gokalp Aras, Bezen Balamir Coşkun
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Migration studies have seldom dealt with the foreign policy dimensions of refugee migration. Additionally, international relations (IR) theories have barely addressed migration policy. The present study seeks to address this gap by analysing Turkey’s response to Syrian mass migration through the lens of neoclassical realist theory. Its purpose is to ascertain to what extent IR theories, particularly neoclassical realism, help us to understand Turkey’s policies and politics addressing Syrian mass migration and changes over time. It questions the pertinence of Turkey’s relative power and its foreign policy objectives in shaping responses to Syrian mass migration. The research also sheds much-needed light not only on dynamism in power-policy relations but also interaction between the international system and internal dynamics in designing migration policies. It aims to stimulate dialogue between IR theories and migration studies, with a particular focus on the foreign policy dimension of state responses to mass refugee migration.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Migration, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Assal Rad
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ)
  • Institution: Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ)
  • Abstract: The attacks on 11 September 2001 not only shaped the focus of US foreign policy over the last two decades, but also de!ned how a generation of Americans understood the gravity of these policies by bringing the cost and tragedy of con"ict home. For many young Americans, it was the !rst time they became aware of the extent of US interventionism and how it impacts the way other nations and peoples view the United States. But events over the last year in the United States have brought the attitude of US foreign policy—which has long been driven by the idea that problems can be solved exclusively through militarism and force—much closer to home. Images of police violently confronting Black Lives Matter protestors and an insurrection at the Capitol were often likened to images of war zones abroad, the very wars started by the United States.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Peace
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ibrahim Karatas
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ)
  • Institution: Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ)
  • Abstract: When the United States was hit by al-Qaida's terrorist attack on 11 September 2001 (hereafter 9/11 attacks), not only Americans but the whole world was shocked: The world’s only superpower was attacked at home and had lost more than three thousand people. To take revenge for the attack as well as to prevent new ones, the Bush administration decided to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq, which they claimed were sheltering and supporting al-Qaida. Afghanistan was invaded on 7 October 2001 because the US wanted (1) to eliminate Osama bin Laden (the mastermind of 9/11) and al-Qaida; (2) to remove the Taliban group from power and bring stability to Afghanistan by creating a democratic and peaceful state.[1] The US Army subsequently invaded Iraq in 2003, claiming that Saddam Hussain was supporting terrorism and producing chemical weapons. There were also allegations that the Hussain regime was behind the 9/11 attacks, but it was never proven. The US eventually removed both Taliban and Saddam Hussain from power and captured Hussain, who was later judged and executed by the new Iraqi government on 30 December 2006. US special forces killed Laden on 2 May 2011. As of today, the US has killed its two archenemies and changed regimes allegedly supporting terrorism in both Afghanistan and Iraq, yet could not bring stability. What is more, the remaining US troops are preparing to leave the two countries. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is in better condition than the pre-invasion era as both states have failed, lack a strong authority, and cannot !ght terrorism. In Afghanistan, the Taliban was the enemy to be removed, however the US’s recent agreement with the organization has paved the way for re-control of the country by the group. On the other hand, Iraq has become a land of widespread terrorism, and the country is more divided than before, not mentioning Iranian in"uence on Baghdad. Based on the current situation, my arguments are that (1) the US is about to make the same mistake it did in Vietnam, and (2) Afghanistan and Iraq might again become the hub of terrorist organizations as well as regional rivalries. Although I do not approve of the US invasions, as Afghanistan and Iraq saw the worse with its invasion, these countries will face the worst with the US’s withdrawal.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, War on Terror, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Yousif Khalaf
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Nowa Polityka Wschodnia
  • Institution: Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
  • Abstract: Th e article aims to present and evaluate the activities and politics of the People’s Republic of China in the Middle East, and to define its objectives through the Silk Project. It will provide an overview of the most important changes in the Chinese foreign and political policy, and the importance of the Middle East, particularly the Silk Road to China, and it will try to answer the following questions: How important is the Middle East for the Silk Road? Will the Chinese project bring stability to the region in light of the fierce competition between the great powers? Th e article adopted the hypothesis that China’s involvement in the Middle East will deepen the conflict between the countries of the region among themselves, and thus become a fertile ground for international conflicts to the international conflict.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political stability, Conflict, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Sadiq Saffarini
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: The article analyzes President Trump’s vision for a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, the so-called Deal of the Century announced on January 28. While the proposal uses the language of hope and prosperity and expresses support for the two-state solution, its provisions actually render the Palestinian “state” inviable. The plan does not empower the Palestinian state with full sovereignty over its territory nor does it recognize its internationally accepted borders, while at the same time nullifying the Palestinian right of return. In short, the plan seeks to legalize and legitimize the status quo by enabling Israeli expansionism and the systemic denial of Palestinian rights, which is a flagrant violation of international law and has no legal validity.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Sovereignty, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes, Peace, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Edward M. Gabriel
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The disastrous state of affairs in Lebanon is mainly a result of failed governance for the past several decades. The 1989 Taif Agreement that defined peace after Lebanon’s civil war created a balancing act among various warlords and political figures who divvied up the government by sectarian affiliation. Since then, government institutions have been weakened, public employment has become a function of constituent services, contracts and social services have been doled out without any transparent process and necessary reforms have been ignored. Humanitarian consequences of this mismanagement are widespread. Social services are lacking. Public schools, health and social services, a pension system and labor laws are inadequate; and there is little protection for civil and human rights and environmental protection. In addition, there are more than 1 million Palestinian, Syrian and other refugees in the country, exerting extreme pressure on the country’s socioeconomic requirements and infrastructure. Infrastructure investment has been ignored, and 80% of hospitals and 70% of schools are run by the private sector. The economy has been running disproportionately on remittances from Lebanese emigres and tourism. The banking system, which was highly praised until a year ago, attracted hard currency and euro-bonds by offering high interest rates in order to feed a deficit-spending government, only to default when the government failed to honor the bonds due. In October 2019, the government blundered by imposing a tax on the popular, free telecom app, WhatsApp, to pay for increasing public deficits of its own making. The people had enough; they were outraged. They lost what remaining faith they had in the government, and on October 17 demonstrations erupted across the country, across all sects, generations and political persuasions. The people were upset as they experienced an increasingly poorer quality of life, especially after the Lebanese lira rapidly declined in value due to the lack of stable reserves to support the currency. In 2019, Lebanon had the third-highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the world, and its bonds are now “junk” on the international markets. It imports 80% of what it consumes. The country is broke, with little support from expatriates and allies and a ruling class that shows no willingness to reform. In 2018, the international donor community, in an effort called the CEDRE program, agreed to support Lebanon once it undertook systematic reforms. These have been neither instituted nor implemented, leaving $11 billion in international aid on the table. Subsidies on food, fuel and medicine are set to stop in December due to a lack of government reserves. Inflation is well over 200% for food items, over-the-counter medicines are almost non-existent due to hoarding and the middle class is rapidly disappearing. Banking-sector capital controls make it almost impossible for depositors to have access to their funds, and the failing exchange rate means that people who withdraw their lira face an immediate decline in purchasing power. The demonstrations were remarkable in their intensity and breadth; and it was only a matter of time before their concerns had to be addressed. The first casualty was the then- (and now again) Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned, along with several of his ministers and Members of Parliament.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Conflict, Peace, Disaster Management
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ali Sevket Ovali
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The use of Twitter has become an important part of foreign policy making and conducting in the recent years. Since it is seen as the most powerful and popular tool of digital diplomacy, foreign policy makers increasingly use Twitter for sending messages to their counterparts and to inform their followers on certain issues, problems or current topics on their country’s foreign policy agenda. Taking the popularity of Twitter use in foreign policy, this study aims to discuss the role of Twitter diplomacy on Turkey-US relations. In this respect, how and for which purposes foreign policy makers in Turkey and the US use Twitter, which topics are mostly covered by the tweets of the selected top- level decision-makers’ accounts, the positive and negative impacts of Twitter on the current status of bilateral relations and the role that Twitter is likely to play in the future of relations are the points that are going to be dealt within the framework of this study.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Social Media, Donald Trump, Twitter
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Svante Cornell
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Baku Dialogues
  • Institution: ADA University
  • Abstract: Azerbaijan’s geopolitics have changed considerably in the last decade, along with the growing general instability in its neighborhood. Gone are the days symbolized by the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline’s construction, when a relatively stable balance existed between a loose Russian-led alignment including Iran and Armenia, and an informal entente between the United States and Turkey, which supported the independence of Azerbaijan and Georgia and the construction of direct energy transportation routes to Europe.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Middle East, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Alper Kaliber, Esra Kaliber
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Recent Turkish foreign policy (TFP) under the successive AKP governments has seen different populist turns. A clear distinction can be made between the thin and thick populisms of TFP, based on the status of the West. The first decade of AKP rule, when foreign policy was thinly populist, was characterised by steady de-Europeanisation, increasing engagement with regional issues and a decentring of Turkey’s Western orientation. The turn toward thick populism has been characterised by anti-Westernist discourses in which the West is resituated as the ‘other’ of Turkish political identity.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Populism, Anti-Westernism
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Dimitris Bouris
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The existing literature on state-building has focused mainly on post-conflict cases and ‘conventional’ examples of statehood, without taking into consideration the particularities of states that remain internally and/or externally contested. The EU’s engagement in Palestinian state-building through the deployment of EUPOL COPPS and EUBAM Rafah has generated various types of unintended consequences: anticipated and unanticipated, positive and negative, desirable and undesirable, some of which fulfill and some of which frustrate the initial intention. These have important reverberations for the EU’s conflict resolution strategies in Israel and Palestine, the most important being the strengthening of power imbalances and the enforcement of the status quo.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, State, State Building, Police
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Palestine, European Union
  • Author: Assem Dandashly, Gergana Noutcheva
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union’s (EU) impact on the political governance of the European neighbourhood is varied and sometimes opposite to the declared objectives of its democracy support policies. The democracy promotion literature has to a large extent neglected the unintended consequences of EU democracy support in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. The EU has left multiple imprints on the political trajectories of the countries in the neighbourhood and yet the dominant explanation, highlighting the EU’s security and economic interests in the two regions,cannot fully account for the unintended consequences of its policies. The literature on the ‘pathologies’ of international organisations offers an explanation, emphasizing the failures of the EU bureaucracy to anticipate, prevent or reverse the undesired effects of its democracy support in the neighbourhood.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Democracy, Economy, Bureaucracy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa, European Union
  • Author: Sharifullah Dorani
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (CESRAN)
  • Abstract: Students of International Relations (IR) and Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) have been confused as to what factors influence foreign policy. FPA focuses mostly on human decision-makers. However, generally speaking, IR theories, realism in particular, instead have focused mostly on the nation-state as the level of analysis to explain foreign policy or foreign policy behaviour. Both fields have found shortcomings within each other. The author of this article, however, applied a number of decision-making approaches from FPA to inform his study of George W. Bush, Barrack Obama and Donald Trump Administrations’ decision-making towards Afghanistan and the broader region and found the discipline of FPA to be extremely helpful. Based on the personal experience of the author, this article attempts to provide a comprehensive introduction to FPA with the aim that students of IR and FPA learn answers to the following questions: What is FPA? How is FPA different from IR? How can decision- making approaches from FPA be employed to inform a foreign policy choice? What (and how) methods can be used to access primary and secondary sources? What are the weaknesses of FPA and is it applicable as an analytical framework outside of the United States (US) or the West (in a country like Afghanistan)? The main objective is to make it easier for students to learn how to apply approaches from FPA as analytical frameworks to analyse a foreign policy decision.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Leadership, Bureaucracy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Paloma Gonzalez del Mino, David Hernandez Martinez
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy is one of the central elements in the analysis of the current dynamics of the Middle East. King Salman and the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, are introducing significant changes in the international activities of the kingdom, through a more assertive and militaristic policy, especially to deal with the different outbreaks of the region and the Muslim sphere. This article analyzes the objectives and strategies that support the responses of the Saudi Government, as well as the use of force as a resource for foreign policy. This paper studies the main challenges and resistance to the power of the Saud House. The formulation and development of the current monarch’s doctrine is determined by Saudi interpretations of possible security threats and opportunities at different levels, which may have a direct effect on the interests of the crown.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Leadership
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Yoslan Silverio Gonzalez
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: This article seeks to analyze the turn of US foreign policy, following the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, with regard to Palestine and the imperialist interests in the region, investigate this new deal of the century to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It then intends to examine US pressures on Latin American countries due to their responses to the agreement and their relations with the “State of Israel” and with the Palestinian National Authority.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, Leadership, Palestinian Authority
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Münevver cebeci
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Arguing that the European Union’s (EU) imposition of its norms and values on Turkey is a continuation of the logic of “European standards of civilisation”, this article offers a second reading of European discourses about Turkey. It regards enlargement conditionality as an apparatus through which the EU constructs its own identity as “ideal” and its others as imperfect. Thus, it attempts to deconstruct the EU’s standards of civilisation through three major lines on which they are built: the authoritative application of standards, unequal treatment and a geopolitical approach – as set by Hartmut Behr in 2007.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Civilization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Ozan Kuyumcuoglu
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Developments in Syria over the past eight years prompted the arguments claiming that Early Republican Turkey had turned her back to the Middle East. However, after a close consideration regarding the discourses of the political elite in Turkey, it becomes evident that Early Republican Turkey’s Middle East policy had been tending to rapprochement with Arab countries rather than avoidance of getting involved in regional issues. This article aims to scrutinize the viewpoints of the outstanding political elite of the Late Ottoman and Early Republican periods like Hüseyin Cahit Yalçın and Falih Rıfkı Atay toward Greater Syria (Bilad-al-Sham) in order to understand the historical and intellectual backgrounds of Early Republican Turkey’s Middle East policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, History, Elites, Ottoman Empire
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Lerna K. Yanik
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article reviews the ways in which various actors in Turkey have used the terms ‘Eurasia’ and ‘Eurasianism’ since the end of the Cold War. It presents two arguments. First, compared to Russian Eurasianism, it is difficult to talk about the existence of a ‘Turkish Eurasianism’. Yet, the article employs the term Turkish Eurasianism as a shorthand to describe the ways in which Eurasia and Eurasianism are employed in Turkey. Second, Turkish Eurasianism is nothing but the use or instrumentalization of Eurasia to create a geopolitical identity for Turkey that legitimizes its political, economic, and strategic interests primarily in the post-Soviet space, but, from time to time, also in the Balkans and Africa. Various Turkish state and non-state actors have used Eurasia to mean different things and justify different goals: reaching out to Turkic Republics, being pro-Russian, creating a sphere of influence in former Ottoman lands, or, recently, cloaking anti-Western currents.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Inan Rüma, Mitat Çelikpala
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Russia and Turkey have been involved in remarkable redefinitions of their foreign policies while navigating through turbulent times in the Post-Cold War era. This has manifested in a search of being recognized as a great power. The tragic civil war in Syria has been the theatre of these ambitions of these two states in highly controversial ways. They have been on the opposite sides until recently on the essential question of the regime change in that country. The risk of a direct fight has even been observed when Turkish air force got a Russian jet down. However, a rapid rapprochement started due to Turkish priority shift from the regime change to the prevention of Kurdish autonomy and the alienation from US; and Russian enthusiasm to get the cooperation of an ardent anti-regime NATO member like Turkey. It can be said that Russia and Turkey have been more process-oriented than result-oriented because they have been compelled to see the limits of their power and influence. As a result, they seem to prefer to focus on the process since they seem to reach their primary objective of showing their salience. All in all, one can only hope for a peaceful and democratic life for Syrians whom tremendously suffered also as a result of an imbroglio of all these global and regional powers’ policies.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Political Activism, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Çiğdem Nas
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The article aims to analyze the European Union (EU)’s approach to the Syrian crisis and to evaluate the role it attributes to Turkey. The EU’s approach staggered between supporting transition in Syria to a post-Assad regime and the need to protect itself against spill-over effects of the conflict. Two issues emerged as urgent priorities that determined the EU’s approach to the conflict. One of them was to control the outpouring of refugees fleeing war and oppression in Syria and the other was to deal with the growing threat of terrorism, mainly the ISIL threat. The influx of Syrian refugees through the Aegean and Balkan route to the EU surged in the summer of 2015 leading to practical and political problems for EU countries. In the meantime, ISIL related terror attacks in the EU created a major security problem and led several Member States to bring back border controls in the Schengen area. The EU turned to Turkey and sought Turkey’s cooperation in controlling the refugee flow and also keeping away the ISIL threat. The article looks at cooperation between Turkey and the EU and also points of contention that created hurdles in this cooperation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Refugee Crisis, Syrian War, Borders
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Behlül Özkan
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine how continuities and discontinuities over a period of nearly half a century have shaped the AKP government’s relationship with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the Assad regime. From the start of the 1980s until the 2011 Arab Uprisings, relations between Turkey, Turkish Islamists, Syria, and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood remained highly complex. Based on the information available from open sources and newspaper archives, this study terms the conflict between the Turkish and Syrian intelligence services that broke out in the 1980s as an “intelligence war.” Both countries viewed the PKK and the Muslim Brotherhood – domestic enemies which they were trying to stamp out – as useful actors to be played off against the other party. While the Syrian/PKK part of the equation was frequently alluded to by the Turkish media and Turkish academia, Turkey’s relations with the Muslim Brotherhood were gradually forgotten. Though open support for the Brotherhood was never an element in Ankara’s official foreign policy, Turkey’s intelligence and security forces did establish ties to the Brotherhood in order to strengthen Turkey’s hand against Syria and made use of the organization insofar as it was in their interest to do so.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, History, Syrian War, Islamism, Muslim Brotherhood
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Serdar Ş. Güner, Dilan E. Koç
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Various balance and imbalance conditions among the U.S., Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iran are analyzed to present how changes in the direction of conflict and cooperation disturb the regional balance in the Syria conflict. We find that given a stable hostility between the U.S. and Russia, and the stable friendship between Russia and Syria, Turkish preferences over coveting friendship and leaning toward enmity are central in the formation of balances. Turkey-Syria relations constitute a key for the balance in the region. A main Russian foreign-policy problem thus remains to help Turkey and Syria to conduct friendlier relations. A competition or an agreement between the U.S. and Russia over Kurdish independence underlies TFP alignment choices and a high likelihood of a protracted conflict for years to come in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Power Sharing, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Murat Tinas, Özlem Tür
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the role of sub-state sectarian actors in foreign policy making in weakly established states by re-visiting the July War of 2006 in Lebanon. It mainly asks how sub-state sectarian actors behave as foreign policy actors in countries where society is divided along sectarian identities and how sectarian identities matter in terms of the definition of the self and the other and the ally and the enemy in weak states. By doing so, the paper analyses the emergence and the consolidation of foreign policy orientations, preferences and behaviour of the Maronite, Sunni, Shi’a and Druze communities in Lebanon, with a specific emphasis on the role of Hezbollah during the war. Building its main findings on various fieldworks in Lebanon, interviewing leaders of major sects; this study concludes that in the absence of a cohesive foreign policy stance in a weak state, the role of sectarian identity in defining self and other becomes central for understanding the foreign policy choices of sectarian actors.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, History, Sectarianism, Identities, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Benjamin Tua
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Efforts to portray Muslims and their faith as threatening diminish our society by stigmatizing a significant American minority. They also can facilitate costly foreign policy blunders such as the 2017 Executive Order banning entry into the US of visitors from several Middle Eastern majority-Muslim countries, an order purportedly based on terrorist activity, technical hurdles to properly document these countries’ travelers, and poor coordination with US officials. Two recent books, “Mohammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires” and “What the Qur’an Meant: And Why it Matters,” take on the task of broadening Americans’ still unacceptably low understanding of Islam. The authors – Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, and Garry Wills, a Pulitzer Prize winning lay scholar of American Catholicism – approach their subject in distinctly different manners. Yet, their message and conclusions are remarkably similar – namely, that ignorance of and distortions of Islam and what the Quran says both alienate vast numbers of Muslims and have led to foreign policy missteps. The books complement each other nicely.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Peace Studies, Religion, Judaism, Islamophobia, Xenophobia
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Gökhan Koçer
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Novus Orbis: Journal of Politics & International Relations
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Karadeniz Technical University
  • Abstract: Language is one of the essential tools in politics. In this context, as for people, the importance of language is very high for states to express themselves politically. The language that states use to carry out their foreign policies has original qualities or at least is believed it should have. For this reason, the language used by the state in its foreign policy is different from the others. If it is not different, it is sometimes differentiated, or new meanings are assigned to the words in line with this purpose. It is a common practice that states produce and implement foreign policy by utilising the language and especially words. However, this can sometimes lead to various problems in foreign policy. Similar practices and problems exist in Turkish foreign policy as well. Naming, changing the name, naming it differently, labelling it in a negative manner, pronouncing the name differently, not-to-mention the name are of the tactics in this regard. In this study, two main topics on Turkish foreign policy are discussed. The first is the debate in Turkey on the last name of Syrian President "Bashar al-Assad" within the framework of what it is or how to pronounce it. Once the relationship between Turkey and Syria began to deteriorate, "Esed" instead of "Esad" has chosen to be used by some politicians, particularly Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The second one is the name of the terrorist organisation "ISIS“(Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham). The terrorist organisation formerly known as ISIS started to be named "DEAŞ", "DAİŞ", "DAEŞ" by a great number of people, especially Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The main reason for this is that the word of Islam takes place in the name of this terrorist organisation. Two inferences can be made on the subject. First, the language debates that took place inside Turkey are more frequent than the debates done between Turkey and its counterparts in the international arena and made by the outside world without Turkey's involvement. Secondly, the interventions in language and playing with words did not give the desired results. | Dil, siyasetin en önemli araçlarından biridir. Bu bağlamda kişilerin olduğu gibi, devletlerin de kendilerini siyaseten ifade etmelerinde dilin önemi çok yüksektir. Devletlerin dış politikalarını gerçekleştirmek için kullandıkları dil, özgün niteliklere sahiptir ya da en azından öyle olması gerektiğine inanılır. Bu nedenle de, devletin dış politikada kullandığı dil başkalarınınkinden farklıdır, değilse bazen farklılaştırılır ya da kelimelere farklı anlamlar yüklenir. Dili ve özelde de kelimeleri kullanarak dış politika üretmeye ve uygulamaya çalışmak, rastlanılan bir durumdur. Ancak, bu durum, bazen çeşitli dış politika sorunlarına da neden olabilmektedir. Türk dış politikasında da benzer uygulamalar ve sorunların varlığı, zaman zaman söz konusudur. Adlandırma, ad değiştirme, farklı adlandırma, olumsuz adlandırma, adını farklı telaffuz etme, adını anmama, bu konuda taktiklere örnektirler. Bu çalışmada, esas olarak, Türk dış politikasında yakın zamanda gündemde yer almış iki tartışma konusu ele alınmıştır. Bunlardan birincisi Suriye Devlet Başkanı “Beşir Esad”ın soyadının ne olduğu ya da nasıl telaffuz edileceği konusunda Türkiye’de yaşanan çok ciddi tartışmadır. Türkiye ile Suriye arasındaki ilişkiler bozulmaya başladıktan sonra, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan başta olmak üzere bir kesim, “Esad” yerine “Esed” kelimesini kullanmayı tercih etmiştir. İkincisi ise, terör örgütü “IŞİD”in (Irak Şam İslam Devleti) adı konusunda olmuştur. Daha önce IŞİD adıyla anılan örgüt, sonraları Recep Tayyip Erdoğan başta olmak üzere, büyük bir kesim tarafından DEAŞ, DAİŞ, DAEŞ gibi adlarla ifade edilmeye başlanmıştır. Bu yaklaşımın temel nedeni, terör örgütünün adında yer alan “İslam” kelimesinin kullanılmak istenmemesi olmuştur. Konu hakkında, iki saptama yapılabilir. Birinci olarak, Türkiye’de yapılan tartışmalar, Türkiye dışında yapılanlardan ve Türkiye’nin dışarıyla yaptıklarından daha fazladır. İkinci olarak ise, dile yapılan müdahaleler, kelimelerle oynamalar, istenilen sonuçları vermemiştir.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Islamic State, Language
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Mkrtich Karapetyan
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: The Syrian civil war exacerbated sectarian divisions between the Alawite-ruled Syrian government and Syria’s Sunni population, straining also the relations between the Sunni majority and Alawite and Alevi minorities of neighboring Turkey. The Alawites and Alevis of Turkey were predominantly supporting Syria’s President Bashar al-Asad, while the Turkish government greatly supported the Sunni insurgents of Syria. The paper aims at examining how Alawites and Alevis have influenced the relations between Turkey and Syria in the light of the Syrian civil war, the reasons behind the sympathy of Alevis for the Syrian government, and the implications that Turkey’s Syria policy has had domestically. It finds that the Alevi / Alawite factor has had some restraining effects on Turkey’s antagonistic policy towards Syria. In the introductory part, the article touches upon the differences and the similarities between Alevis and Alawites, then it analyzes the developments in regards Turkey’s policy towards the Syrian crisis that were also reflected in Ankara’s domestic policy vis-à-vis its Alevi and Alawite minorities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Sectarianism, Syrian War, Alawites
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Deniz Çıtak
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: On January 20, 2018 at 17:00 local time, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) entered Afrin, a city in northern Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan named the military operation “Operation Olive Branch” (Zeytin Dalı Harekâtı) for the region’s many olive trees. According to Turkey, the operation does not violate international law because the operation was against the PYD and YPG as an act of self-defense, aiming to guarantee the security of Turkey’s borders. For Turkey, the links between the PKK and Syrian Kurdish groups classify Kurdish activity in northern Syria as a threat to Turkey’s domestic security.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Military Intervention, Conflict, Syrian War, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Adham Sahloul
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: The murder of Saudi Arabian columnist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2nd in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has been a clarion call for the Washington foreign policy community, one that is redefining the United States’ relations with the Saudi Kingdom and, by extension, US strategy in the Middle East. The Khashoggi affair will outlive President Donald Trump; the reputation of Saudi’s leadership is beyond repair, and with Global Magnitsky sanctions and the newly proposed bipartisan Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act, the US Congress appears ready to act where the executive has fallen short. The CIA has concluded that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) ordered Khashoggi’s murder. Trump, who has threatened “severe consequences” for whomever is found responsible, seemed over the past month to be looking for a way out of naming, shaming, and punishing MbS himself. In his statement on November 20th, Trump confirmed many observers’ worst fears about this president’s worst instincts, saying that US security, economic, and political interests transcend this incident. For a sitting US president to balk at the notion of holding an ally accountable and making even a symbolic effort to address such a gruesome crime with clear chains of responsibility constitutes a new low in US foreign policy
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Crime, Human Rights, Politics, Trump, Journalism, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, North America, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Esra Cavusoglu
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf in 1971, started a new era in the region with new political order and new security map. Iran and Saudi Arabia emerged as the guardians of the status quo to be filling the power vacuum left by the British in behalf of the West. Britain adopted a new post-imperial role in the region along with new post-colonial foreign policy in the post-withdrawal context. British policy towards the regional security is analysed in this article with central focus on the shift emerged in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution in the British policy. After 1979, Iran, no longer a Western ally, has been defined as the major internal threat for the regional security following the major external threat of the Soviet expansion in the British foreign policy. This paper argues that the shift in the British policy came along with a sectarianist approach towards the region. The sectarianization emerged with the securitization of the Gulf based on “Iran threat” within the determinants of the Anglo-American alliance on the regional security. The sectarianist discourse adopted by the British foreign policy was employed as an effective tool of the securitization of the Gulf that was deepened during the regional conflicts, the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Rumeysa Köktaş
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bilgi
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: Bu çalışmada uluslararası ilişkilerde bölgesel örgütlerin giderek artan rolü göz önünde bulundurularak Türkiye’nin Ortadoğu’daki bölgesel örgütlerle ilişkileri incelenmiştir. Çalışmanın amacı Türkiye dış siyasetinde Ortadoğu’daki bölgesel örgütlerin rolünü ve ikili ilişkileri tarihsel olarak analiz etmek ve böylelikle Türk dış politikasındaki paradigmatik değişimleri ortaya koyabilmektir. Bu çerçevede bu çalışmada Türkiye’nin Ortadoğu’da öne çıkan beş örgüt (İslam İşbirliği Teşkilatı, Körfez İşbirliği Konseyi, Gelişen Sekiz Ülke, Arap Ligi ve Ekonomik İşbirliği Teşkilatı) ile kurumsal ilişkileri tarihsel olarak ele alınarak Türk dış politikasının geçirdiği değişimler analiz edilmiştir.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Gulf Cooperation Council, Arab League
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The article compares Lula’s foreign policy to the Middle East with Ahmadinejad’s to Latin America. Methodologically, the historical concepts of each diplomacy is combined with empirical data on trade flows and diplomatic actions. It is argued that the implementation of foreign policies involved similar (presidential diplomacy) and distinct means (universalism and multilateralism by Brazil, and personalism, bilateralism and low institutionalization by Iran). The results of diplomacies also resembled: although the economic implications were modest, Brasilia politically increased its global projection capacity, while Tehran relatively reduced its international isolation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Asma Shakir Khawaja
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: In the contemporary history, the Middle East and China are the focus of global attention. Though Middle East has fought an ideological struggle with regard to religious extremism in the region, yet the quest for power energy sources cannot be overlooked. While Chinese policy frame , revolving around its approach of non-interference, economic development and a desire of having multi-polar global system is serious challenge for the US which on one hand, advocates democracy, human rights, but with the policy of intervention. Today, the world powers are competing each other for the supremacy of power resources where oil and gas are not an exception. China is the second largest consumer of world‘s oil after the United States (Bajpaee, 2006). China is making an effort to build an economic, political and military influence in the region without involving the military force. Though future will reveal many truths yet it is anticipated that a new triangular balance of power comprising of China, Saudi Arabia and Russia might emerge on the global scene, owing to their inter-connected dependencies. China is looking forward by pursuing the policy of wait and see for the appropriate moment This study primarily focuses on their bilateral relations and deals with China‘s Middle East policy, its increasing activities in the region and implications for Pakistan. For Pakistan, the nature of future relationship with Middle Eastern multi-dimensional crisis is very important because it is the ―Arc of crisis‖. The neutral role of Pakistan in this situation is much hazardous, carrying both challenges and opportunities along with the security repercussions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Oil, Power Politics, Economic Growth
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, South Asia, Middle East, Punjab
  • Author: Gideon Biger
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Polish Political Science Yearbook
  • Institution: Polish Political Science Association (PPSA)
  • Abstract: Many suggestions have been presented for solving the Israeli – Palestinian dis- pute. As for now, none of those suggestions, presented during more than thirty years of ne- gotiations, have been accepted by both sides. As for this, some new ideas have to be entered the arena. Here some new, “out of the box”, geographical proposals are presented, based on actual events and geographical realities which exist in other areas. These proposals could be seen as un-human or politically wrong suggestions but as all other proposals were rejected, the decision makers of both sides, as well as the leaders of the world, can use the presented suggestion as a base for future negotiations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes, Conflict, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Özlem Kayhan Pusane
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Since the 1960s, Turkish policymakers have developed a distant attitude towards the Kurdish movement in Iraq and they have been concerned about the possibility of similar developments taking place in Turkey. However, in the early 1990s, and then from 2007/2008 onwards, Turkey left its distant attitude towards northern Iraq and pursued an active policy developing close relations with the Iraqi Kurds. This paper explores to what extent Turkey’s foreign policy change towards northern Iraq in these two periods constituted leader-driven change and to what extent these changes resulted from structural/environmental factors.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics, Kurds, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turgut Özal
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Ed Erickson, Christian H. Heller, T. J. Linzy, Mallory Needleman, Michael Auten, Anthony N. Celso, Keith D. Dickson, Jamie Shea, Ivan Falasca, Steven A. Yeadon, Joshua Tallis, Ian Klaus
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Advanced Military Studies
  • Institution: Marine Corps University Press, National Defense University
  • Abstract: There are a variety of reasons to study geopolitical rivalries, and analysts, officers, and politicians are rediscovering such reasons amid the tensions of the last several years. The best reason to study geopolitical rivalries is the simplest: our need to better understand how power works globally. Power not only recurs in human and state affairs but it is also at their very core. Today’s new lexicon—superpower, hyperpower, and great power—is only another reminder of the reality of the various ways that power manifests itself. Power protects and preserves, but a polity without it may be lost within mere decades. Keith D. Dickson’s article in this issue of MCU Journal, “The Challenge of the Sole Superpower in the Postmodern World Order,” illuminates how fuzzy some readers may be in their understanding of this problem; his article on postmodernism calls us to the labor of understanding and reasoning through the hard realities. Ed Erickson’s survey of modern power is replete with cases in which a grand state simply fell, as from a pedestal in a crash upon a stone floor. Modern Japan, always richly talented, rose suddenly as a world actor in the late nineteenth century, but the Japanese Empire fell much more quickly in the mid-twentieth century. A state’s power—or lack thereof—is an unforgiving reality. This issue of MCU Journal, with its focus on rivalries and competition between states, is refreshingly broad in its selection of factors—from competing for or generating power. Dr. Erickson recalls that Alfred Thayer Mahan settled on six conditions for sea power, all still vital. Other authors writing for this issue emphasize, by turns, sea power (Steven Yeadon, Joshua Tallis, and Ian Klaus); cyberpower (Jamie Shea); alliances (T. J. Linzy and Ivan Falasca); information (Dickson); and proxies (Michael Auten, Anthony N. Celso, and others).
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, NATO, Islam, Terrorism, War, History, Power Politics, Military Affairs, European Union, Seapower, Cities, Ottoman Empire, Hybrid Warfare , Cyberspace, Soviet Union, Safavid Empire
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Lithuania, Georgia, North Africa, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Bárbara Azaola
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Revista UNISCI/UNISCI Journal
  • Institution: Unidad de investigación sobre seguridad y cooperación (UNISCI)
  • Abstract: Uno de los pilares en los que se ha basado la política regional de Egipto desde que en 1979 firmase el tratado de paz con Israel, ha sido su voluntad de jugar un papel de mediador entre israelíes y palestinos. En este artículo se analiza cómo desde la época de Hosni Mubarak el régimen egipcio se ha servido, tanto a nivel regional, internacional e interno, de su papel de mediador en el conflicto palestino-israelí. Este rol ha sido usado no sólo para su reconocimiento hacia el exterior sino también como instrumento de legitimación ante su opinión pública. Ni siquiera bajo la presidencia del islamista Mohamed Morsi (2012-2013) se produjo un realineamiento radical a nivel regional. A partir de 2013, con la llegada al poder del militar Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, los vínculos con Israel se han estrechado a distintos niveles. Se analiza, también, si en el Egipto post-Mubarak, la oposición política y la sociedad civil han mantenido la tradicional movilización por la causa palestina como forma de aumentar su visibilidad pública, habiendo sido esta “tolerada” previamente para que actuase como válvula de escape.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, History, Domestic politics, Mediation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Egypt
  • Author: W. Robert Pearson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Russia and Turkey are dancing a complicated pas de deux—for separate and common reasons. The happy couple has captivated global attention. There are reasons today to anticipate greater collaboration between Turkey and Russia in Syria and against Europe and the United States. However, there are also significant contradictions that could weaken the prospects of cooperation between the two countries. For gains against Syrian Kurds and to fan nationalist flames domestically, Turkey may be ignoring longer term needs. Russia is the major partner in the arrangement and sees little reason to sacrifice its interests to please Turkey. One day this unequal relationship may cause Turkey to question its value.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, History, Bilateral Relations, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Victoria Rodríguez Prieto
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: “The Global Strategy Foreign Policy and Security of the European Union” has triggered significant measures in comparison with previous framework, which was elaborated in 2003 and updated in 2008 by then High Representative J. Solana. Those measures aim to promote more security in response to all vulnerabilities which tests stability, especially in European neighbourhood. Likewise, new European response should be understood in the framework of Lisbon Treaty´s innovations. The latter have let European Union (EU) provide with a more ambitious action in tune with external context. Regarding European neighbourhood, changes in Southern but also Eastern regions remains as main concern. While this is true that major challenges are in the southern area due to civil war in Syria, failed-state Libya, presence of Daesh and other extremist groups in the area. Meanwhile, to the East, context has undergone in the last few years owing to the Ukrainian crisis but also the Belarus dictatorship headed by V. Lukashenko, high levels of corruption in Moldova, recent political and social riots in Armenia, non-changes in Azerbaijan or the increase violence in Nagorno-Karabakh region. New strategy seeks to address these challenges through measures based on a great reinforcement of European normative dimension. Concerning neighbouring states, principle of pragmatism and resilience are the most relevant. All this strengthens by principle of differentiation, co-ownership and more flexibility embedded in the recent revised ENP, which facilitates their implementation. Our main purpose lies in analyzing innovations’ global strategy with regard to the Eastern neighbouring states whose relations with EU are within the so-called Eastern Partnership. This article argues that, to a certain extent, those have a certain impact on Eastern Partnership. However, significant results will become more visible in the mid-long term.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, European Union, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, Middle East
  • Author: Mahdi Dakhlallah, Imad Salim, Tahseen al-Halabi, Bashar al-Assad
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: During the presidential campaign, Trump said he “[doesn’t] like Assad at all” and described the Syrian leader as “a bad guy.” But he compared Assad favorably to the alternatives. “Assad is killing ISIS,” Trump stated, whereas “we don’t even know who they [the rebels] are.” Trump even claimed Assad to be “much tougher and much smarter” than political rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Unsurprisingly, Assad and his admirers took heart in Trump’s surprise victory last November, with an adviser to the Syrian president saying the American people had “sent a great, a very important message to the world.” Yet Assad supporters – as well as the Syrian president himself – are taking a cautious approach to the new US administration, unsure of whether, and to what extent, Trump will overhaul American foreign policy. Here’s what columnists in pro-Assad media outlets think about Trump’s implications for Syria, followed by excerpts from two interviews with Assad about the new US president.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Elections, News Analysis, Trump, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Andrew McIndoe
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: On 6 December the Trump administration made an unprecedented decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The announcement, which both recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and conveyed President Trump’s intention to relocate the United States’ embassy to the Holy City, is a move shrouded in obscure motivations. Was it a manifestation of the strongly pro-Israel orientation of the new government? Was it merely the fulfilment of a campaign promise, a sop to the president’s evangelical and pro-Israel support base? Or was it truly designed, as the President maintained, to reenergize a peace process that has been stuck in the mud for years?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Peace Studies, Trump, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Power – be it tangible, intangible, natural, military, or economic – shapes the capacities of the state and its role within the international system. The Middle East is no exception to this realist reading of international affairs. The Arab Spring, the Syrian conflict, the war in Yemen and the Iranian nuclear deal have all created a battleground, often quite literally, for state power interests to compete with one another. How are these power configurations linked to identity? The United States sees itself as a stronghold of liberal democracy, Japan as the quintessential trading nation, and Switzerland is comfortably ensconced in its 200-year-old neutralism. This “sense of self,” or who states are, shapes and defines what they do. Power and identity routinely mould and inform each other. For a country like the United Arab Emirates, described by many analysts as a middle, regional, or rising power, these questions hold particular relevance as the UAE reshapes its position in the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Power Politics, Soft Power, Identities, State
  • Political Geography: Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Gulf Nations
  • Author: A. Frolov
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: LAST SPRING, an event in the Arab world shocked everyone. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, the capital of Qatar, their ally. One of the smallest members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) was accused of supporting “anyone threat- ening the security and stability of the GCC whether as groups or individ- uals – via direct security work or through political influence ... and hos- tile media.” On June 5, 2017, the KSA, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt officially dis- continued diplomatic relations and all types of communication with Qatar. Later, they were joined by the Maldives, Mauritius and Mauretania. Jordan and Djibouti lowered the level of their diplomatic representations in Doha. Several African countries – Senegal, Niger and Chad – recalled their ambassadors. Kuwait and Oman, both GCC mem- bers, stayed away from the action. Later, the three initiators handed Doha a list of 13 demands to end a major Gulf crisis, insisting that Qatar should shut down the Al Jazeera network, close a Turkish military base and scale down ties with Iran. They gave Qatar 10 days to comply with the demands and agree to annu- al audits in the following 10 years.1 Qatar rejected this ultimatum as inter- ference in its sovereignty. Possible repercussions notwithstanding, what happened to Qatar can be described as a manifestation of the deeply rooted social and political changes in the Arab East caused by the color revolutions unfolding amid globalization, informatization, democratization, gradual destruction of the traditional values of Eastern societies, and the frantic efforts to find adequate answers to these challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Najam-ud-din Muhammad Farani, Iram Khalid, Muhammad Rizwan Abbassi
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Political Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: United Kingdom’s (UK) foreign policy towards the Syrian crisis is quite significant with reference to the entry of Syrian refugees into Europe and the strategic balance of power in the Middle East. UK being a major power in the European continent understands the importance of sharing the humanitarian responsibility for protecting, aiding and accommodating the Syrian refugees. The British Government is aware of the fact that it is not only providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees but also going to host their hostilities and affiliations in the ongoing conflict inside Syria. The arrival of Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in UK presents a complex case of national versus humanitarian concerns in foreign policy analysis. This research paper is an attempt to focus on the convergence and divergence of interests between UK’s Humanitarian assistance policy directed towards Syrian refugees and the British national security interests with reference to the strategic balance of power in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Humanitarian Aid, Refugees, Syrian War, Asylum
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Muhammad Nadeem Mirza, Lubna Abid Ali, Irfan Hasnain Qaisrani
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Political Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: This study focuses on the growth of transnational forces and increased global interdependence in the Post-Cold War period, posing serious challenges to conservative regimes in the Middle East – manifested by popular uprisings for economic and political change, beginning 2010 in Tunisia. Since then the Arab states of Middle East are in turmoil. The situation has become complex due to the presence of Al-Qaeda network and ISIS (‘Islamic’ State of Iraq and Syria) radicals in the Middle East and Mediterranean region. Such non state extremists groups are a collective threat to future Europe also. On the other hand various countries of the Middle East and gulf region, have been engaged in waging the proxy wars against each other in order to achieve their specific objectives. Geographically, historically and politically Turkey has been a bridge between Middle East and Europe. The underlying assumption of this study establishes Turkey’s matured foreign policy not only as a model for struggling states of the Muslim World but holds keys to emerging threats to Europe. The study explores possibilities of Turkey to be central player not only for the resolution of regional issues but also as an active player at the global level.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Fátima Chimarizeni
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Institution: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Abstract: In a political world featured by many sorts of alliances, Iran has sought the gathering of power in order to defend itself from economic sanctions imposed upon it by United States of America along with other members of the United Nations such as United Kingdom, France, Russia and China. Its turn towards Africa was one of the way-out strategies taken by Ahmadinejad in order to overcome the negative economic impact originated from the sanctions. Nonetheless, the rise to power of a leadership seemingly more turned to solve the nuclear issue directly with the Western states places the Iran-Africa Relationship in a fragile condition considering Iran’s foreign policy priorities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Sanctions, Geopolitics, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Peter Wood
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Although it is highly unlikely that China will deploy a large force or even, as one widely disseminated and erroneous report suggested, its aircraft carrier to fight in Syria, it is clear that China is increasing the visibility of its support for Bashar al-Assad’s government to improve its level of influence in whatever resulting post–civil war government emerges.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Humanitarian Aid, Bilateral Relations, Military Affairs, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Steve A. Yetiv
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: United States foreign policy in the Middle East over the last few decades has been controversial and checkered, and Washington has certainly flexed its muscles in the region. However, the question arises as to how aggressive America has been with regard to oil in the region. I distinguish between two perspectives in how America is viewed, which we can simply call the offensive and defensive perspectives, recognizing that there is a continuum of views. From the offensive perspective, America is viewed as having one or more of these goals: steal or own Middle East oil; control Middle East oil in order to undermine Muslims; dominate Middle East oil to advance global hegemony; or exercise “puppet” control over oil producers like Saudi Arabia to coerce them into charging far lower oil prices than markets would warrant.1 By contrast, from the defensive perspective, America chiefly aims to prevent others from threatening oil supplies in a manner that would spike global oil prices and possibly cause a recession or depression. Muslim opinion polls have revealed that oil issues are a broader source of tension in relations between elements of the Muslim world and the West. The U.S. role in oil-related issues feeds into historical, political, and religious perspectives of an imperialist and power-hungry America. In fact, a not uncommon view in the Middle East is that America seeks to exploit, even steal the region’s oil resources, a viewpoint much in line with the offensive perspective described above. I argue that the history of America’s role in the region suggests that this is largely a misconception, and that this misconception is not immaterial. It seriously raises the cost of the use of oil and of American regional intervention. This misconception not only stokes terrorism and anti-Americanism, but also complicates America’s relations with Middle Eastern countries, affects its image among Muslims, and hurts its global leverage insofar as such views become internationally prominent. Indeed, it is almost a maxim in many capitals in the Middle East that close cooperation with Washington carries a domestic political cost. Recall, for example, that the Saudis were initially reluctant to host American forces after Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, even though they felt seriously threatened by Saddam Hussein.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Oil, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, North America, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Elihugh M. Abner
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This article points out the cataclysmic power shift that would take place in the event of Saudi Arabia’s descent into political turmoil, and briefly covers some of the catalysts that could bring about such an event. Overall, the oppressive policies towards the Shia minority carried out by the Sunni-dominated Saudi monarchy are detrimental to the country’s national security. The religious disparities in the country have given the monarchy’s enemies—primarily Iran and Russia—a weakness to exploit. This article does not give evidence of any clandestine operations taking place within the Kingdom; however, it gives evidence that Iran and Russia have much to gain and virtually nothing to lose if the country was to spiral into violence like so many others in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, National Security, Fragile/Failed State, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Sama Habib
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: As a result of the 70-year conflict between Israel and Palestine, the United States should reconsider its support for a two-state solution and instead pivot to a one-state solution. Policymakers have assumed that deep hatreds can only be settled through separation. However, this policy has caused a stalemate and does not take into account fluctuating developments in the region. A more adaptive strategy is necessary. Using theories of ripeness and conflict mediation, this bold flip in policy can pave the path towards lasting peace. Exercising the instability created from Syria’s civil war, the United States. can ripen the Israel-Palestine conflict by exposing the mutual security benefits gained from uniting against a common enemy: ISIS. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria offers the parties a unique opportunity for peace as a rallying cause. As a close ally of Israel, the United States is in the ideal position to lead mediations centering around talks of permanent ceasefires, economic integration, and eventually political power sharing of a unified, binational state. In conjunction with Qatar acting as the Arab broker for Palestine, the United States should leverage its power to get the parties to the table in order to create the framework for a pocket of peace in an ever-rickety Middle East.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Political Power Sharing, State Building
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Umbreen Javaid, Meer Waheed
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The importance of energy rich Middle East region for competing oil dependent economies of China and U.S.A is becoming more intriguing calling for cautious analytical insights for a better understanding. The convergence of interest of U.S and China coupled with the volatile political environment associated with this region questions the notion of „peaceful rise of China‟, the nature of its role in the region, and its commitment to retain neutrality which is analyzed in this paper by drawing inferences from its overall foreign policy behavior in the global affairs China is emerging as an influential actor in international politics owing to its massive economic strength coupled with rapidly developing military might and advancements in science and technology. China‟s journey of development is necessarily hinged upon an uninterrupted supply of energy which is the life line of both its economic and military prowess and in that context the importance of oil rich Middle East region becomes manifold owing to the major chunks of the crude oil china imports from this region. The strategic importance of Middle East region for the U.S.A is also an established fact that presents an interesting case study for analyzing future course of China-U.S strategic relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Oil, Economy, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: John R. Murnane
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In a series of interviews with Jefferey Goldberg in the April 2016 Atlantic, President Barack Obama provided a much-needed and sober reappraisal of the limits of American power and a realistic view of U.S. foreign policy based on a careful assessment of priorities, or what Goldberg calls the “Obama Doctrine.” The heart of the president’s approach is the rejection of the “Washington Playbook.” Obama told Goldberg, “there’s a playbook in Washington that presidents are supposed to follow. It’s a playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment. And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarized responses.”1 According to the Playbook, military power and the “creditability” it provides is the principle instrument of American foreign policy; it has been accepted wisdom at think tanks and among foreign policy experts since the end of World War II; Obama has challenged this dictum.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, United Nations, Syria, North America, United States of America