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  • Author: Ufiem Maurice Ogbonnaya
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring, a pro-democracy uprising which has been sweeping through North Africa and the entire Arab world since 2010, has been described as a cataclysmic revolutionary wave that has seen the over-throw of numerous political regimes in its wake. This has had great impacts on the political developments and democratic governance in the Arab world in particular and the world in general. Though the political, environmental and socio-economic factors and variables that resulted in and sustained the revolutions in the affected states appear similar in nature, they vary from one country to the other. Using the MO Ibrahim Foundation Index, Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index among others on selected indicators, this paper draws a comparative analysis of the key factors and variables that gave rise to the Arab Spring. The paper focuses particularly on the North African countries of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Findings show that the inability of governments in these affected states to respond adequately to the growing demands of political inclusion, good governance, job creation and policies of inclusive growth played fundamental roles in awakening the people's consciousness, resulting in the revolutions. This paper recommends the institutionalization of participatory and multiparty democracy and the implementation of people-oriented policies such as job creation and the introduction of poverty reduction programmes among others, as a means of sustaining the success of the revolutions.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Max Rebol
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Western observers sometimes shockingly reduce Chinese Aid to Africa to a way of securing access to natural resources. A closer look does not only reveal that China's disbursement of Aid to the continent is relatively unrelated to natural resources, but also that it fills exactly the areas that Western aid has increasingly neglected: Infrastructure, industrialization and manufacturing. Chinese and Western aid work but in many ways can be seen as complementing rather than competing. Western aid since the 1980s focuses almost exclusively on basic social needs, while China's Aid to Africa is more based on industrial cooperation. The tools, such as preferential loans, that China uses hereby are often similar to what has been successful when China was in the role of the Aid recipient. Aid should therefore not be seen as a philanthropic one way transfer, but part of a mutually beneficial strategy that uses policy to channel investment into areas in which they are needed most. There is a fine line between aid and business, but in its relations with Africa today, China is well aware that at home it was not aid that lifted 200 million people out of poverty.
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Max Rebol
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: While economic and political ties between China and Africa have grown substantially in the last years, our understanding of African perceptions of China is still limited. Those pieces of cross country survey data which are available draw a positive picture of African perceptions of China but surveys are not comprehensive and only consider various African countries as a whole. Starting from here, this paper looks into how opinions on China form in different parts of African society, using case studies from unions, political elites and civil society. It comes to the conclusion that trade has an overall bigger impact on popular perceptions of China than FDI, which has been the focus of much literature. While a rising trade deficit has an overall negative impact on perceptions of China, increased Chinese trade is perceived positive by consumers that get more competitive prices and small scale vendors. Civil society organizations in Africa sometimes show critical opinions but are also increasingly engaged by China. Western Media generally tends to portrait China's relations with Africa in a more negative way, than it is perceived by most Africans. Several studies confirm that Africa is the continent that on average holds the most positive views on China.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Bülent Aras, Kenan Dağcı, M. Efe Çaman
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: This article aims to analyse Turkey's foreign policy towards Asia, which is part of Turkey's emerging universal foreign policy vision. The notion of geographic imagination is provided to theorize Turkey's emerging policy attitudes and behaviors. Turkey's involvement in Asia will focus on the development of economic relations, security cooperation, supporting Asian political schemes for a multilateral world order and playing a facilitator role in Asia's encounter with the West. This new foreign policy orientation links the reform and change in the domestic landscape and Turkey's new activism in Asia, which has opened new horizons in its relations with Asian states and has encouraged policy-makers in their search for a central role in a number of regions ranging from Africa to Asia.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Victor Ojakorotu
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: This paper unpacks the crisis in the Niger Delta of Nigeria with reference to its external dimensions by which is meant the involvement of international non-governmental organisations in the politics of local environmental governance. It takes as its point of departure the events (in the 1990s) that underpinned the international community's engagement with an issue that could have been regarded as Nigeria's domestic affair and follows with an assessment of the impact of internationalisation of the crisis on the major actors in the region. It is noted that the crisis in the Niger Delta has been predicated for over four decades on a number of complex issues in Nigeria's geo-political landscape. The emergence of organized pressure groups (in the early 1990s) and their protestations against human rights abuses and environmental problems in the region added a 'new' dimension to the crisis. In tackling its thematic concern, this paper interrogates the involvement of the international civil society in the Niger Delta and concludes with an appraisal of the extent to which the internationalisation of the crisis engendered both attitudinal and policy shifts on the part of the main actors.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Oil
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Wondwosen Teshome B.
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The question of inviting international election observers to monitor an election is one of the most controversial issues in Africa. Most of the time, the presence of international election monitors in emerging democracies is important to measure whether or not an election is conducted in a free and fair manner. But, sometimes it is regarded as the violation of a nation's sovereignty.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Narasingha P. Sil
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Postcolonialism as theory, contrasted with postcoloniality as reality, was born sometime during the earlier period of the Cold War that had developed Sphinx-like following the World War II announcing the death of Europe and the rise of two extra-European superpowers. Naturally, the end of the War also began a decade-long process of decolonization, marking the end of European political domination over most of Asia and Africa. The collapse of the continent that owned almost one half of the globe generated a profoundly unsettling soulsearching and re-examination of the values and norms of metropolitan civilization informed by the Enlightenment masculist and quasi-racist rationality, although a critique of Western bourgeois views and values dates back to the works of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) and later Rudolf Pannwitz (1881-1969), author of The Crisis of European Culture (1917), and Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), author of The Decline of the West (1918).
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Wondwosen Teshome B.
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: At present, more than 55 percent of the World's population lives in internationally shared river basins. Shared waters could be either a source of conflict or a source of cooperation and prosperity. Today, the growing need for water resources for development has brought intense political and economic tensions among the countries that share rivers that flow across two or more countries. The aim of this paper is to identify the economic, social and political benefits of the transboundary cooperation by using the Nile Bain Initiative (NBI) as a case study. It also attempts to identify the obstacles that hinder transboundary cooperation in the Nile Basin. The paper argues that the riparian states in the Nile Basin should work for “benefit-sharing” rather than “water-sharing” and this should be the basis for their transboundary cooperation. It also claims that implementing the concept of benefit-sharing would help in solving problems that are caused by divergent interests among the riparian states in the Nile basin and the up stream-down stream problems frequently manifested in the area. The paper concludes by suggesting the main points that have to be considered in transboundary cooperation.
  • Topic: Economics, Water
  • Political Geography: Africa