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  • Author: Dimitris Tsarouhas
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article argues that the origins of the Greek malaise are primarily political rather than economic and rooted in the delay, postponement, and half-hearted implementation of public policy reforms that preceded the crisis. The 2007-08 global economic crisis triggered market scrutiny over Greece, as it brought to an end a period of abundant liquidity and a relaxed attitude by global markets vis a vis Eurozone members. Greece's impossible fiscal position was brutally exposed, and a downward spiral began. The article also argues that although Greece set itself up for failure, the Eurozone's inability to act swiftly and early, to diagnose the problem correctly and to combine a policy mix consisting of budgetary consolidation and policy reform further exacerbated the problem. Despite the fact that disorderly default has been avoided and a sense of normalcy has returned, Greece has to move swiftly on the reforms front to avoid disaster.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Bayram Sinkaya
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines Turkish Iranian relations in the 2000s, when the two countries initiated an unprecedented rapprochement. It argues that modification of foreign policy paradigms in Turkey and Iran led to the rationalization of bilateral relations that paved the way for improvement of economic and political ties between the two states. In addition to the rationalization, a supportive regional context helped them expand their relations. However, structural differences prevent the Turkish-Iranian rapprochement from turning into a strategic partnership. Moreover, restructuring of the regional context and rise of the specter of a conflictual relationship, which is still alive, threaten the future of Turkish-Iranian relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey
  • Author: Çiğdem Üstün
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The debate on the future of the Turkish-American partnership has puzzled scholars in recent years due to its constant fluctuations. In the first year of the Obama administration, the parties tried to heal relations with high level exchanges and a new conceptual framework to define the relationship. However, in 2010 the discord between the US and Turkey on major policy issues, including Iran and relations with Israel, once again strained bilateral relations. With the Arab Spring, the pendulum swung once again. Since the eruption of the people's movement in different parts of the Middle East, Turkey and the US have acted in coordination, and taken similar positions in debates in international forums. The Obama administration announced a new Asia- Pacific strategy, which will entail the concentration of its diplomatic, military, and economic resources to build partnerships and curb emerging threats in this region. This new doctrine may have a major impact on US relations with Turkey by opening up new opportunities for cooperation and new necessities to deepen the partnership.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Turkey, Middle East, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: 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: Ahmet T. Kuru
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: One may argue three law-like generalizations in political science: “no bourgeois, no democracy,” “democracies do not go to war with each other,” and “natural resources are a curse.” Although each of these highly contested arguments is important, the last one has the broadest impact—the negative effects of oil, natural gas, and mineral production go beyond authoritarianism and have economic, military, and societal consequences. Recently, some important publications have challenged the “resource curse” argument, creating doubts about these negative effects. In this regard, Michael Ross's book is an extremely timely work. It not only responds to these critiques but also provides a consistent set of explanations about oil and its effects on authoritarianism, patriarchy, inter-state and civil wars, and economic underdevelopment. Ross has already written path-breaking articles on these issues and this magnum opus brings together his previous contributions with updated data, revised arguments, and fresh perspectives. Unlike his earlier publications, Ross's analysis focuses on oil and natural gas, sometimes referring to both as only “oil,” and consistently leaves mineral production aside. His data show how the importance of oil will persist, if not increase, in the near future: “the global market for oil and other liquid fuels will rise from 86.1 million barrels a day in 2007 to 110 million barrel a day in 2035; the market for natural gas will rise from 108 to 156 trillion cubic feet” (p. 251).
  • Topic: Civil War, Development, Economics, Oil
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Žarko Petrović, Dušan Reljic
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The vigor which has characterized the Turkish approach to the Western Balkans since the end of the Cold War has transformed the country into an important regional actor from its previous position as a distant neighbor that showed little interest. Although Turkey and the Western Balkan countries have in the meanwhile achieved the most intensive relationship since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey has not yet displayed the economic capacity and political weight that could make it compete with the magnetism of the European Union for Western Balkan countries. Turkish cultural influence, although significantly widened in the last few years, particularly through investments in educational institutions, is mostly limited to the Muslim population in the region. While potential EU membership remains the most important driver for the political elites in the region, the stalled EU membership prospects of both Turkey and the countries of the region might change this in the future.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Balkans
  • Author: Mensur Akgün, Sylvia Tiryaki
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Despite repeated calls and promises, Turkish Cypriots live in economic, political and humanitarian isolation. This paper tries to address one aspect of it and elaborates on the legal basis of these isolationist practices imposed on one side of the island. It challenges the international legal validity of the de facto sanctions. Furthermore, it claims that lifting economic isolation will also serve as a confidence building tool between Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus represented by the Greek Cypriots since such an act will lead to Turkey's reciprocation and the normalization of relations with the Republic of Cyprus. It also argues that neither the UN, nor the EU has ever imposed any sanctions on Turkish Cypriots and the policy of isolation, as such, has only been practiced by the Greek Cypriots and the Greeks. This paper intends to clarify the distinction between sanctions and non-recognition. It also highlights the promises made by the EU to the Turkish Cypriots, in particular, the one made on April 26, 2004, when the Council of the EU proclaimed its commitment to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community.
  • Topic: Economics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Greece, Balochistan
  • Author: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article explores the cultural politics of European opposition to Turkish accession to the EU. It argues that the foundations of secularism-the powerful a prioris that structure the debate in Europe regarding religion and politics-make it difficult for Europeans to cope with what is often described as an "Islamic challenge" to Europe, both internally and externally. Turkish candidacy makes these stumbling blocks explicit, as Turkey has become the symbolic carrier of domestic European angst about religion, particularly Islam, and politics. Turkish candidacy highlights unfinished business in the social fabric of the core EU members, including what it means to be secular and how religion, including but not limited to Islam, relates to European identity. These sticking points are what the debate over Turkish membership is really about, and it is for this reason that it is culturally-in addition to economically and politically-so contentious.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ş. İlgü Özler
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this book, Asef Bayat explores Islam and democracy especially with regard to what he calls the “post-Islamist” movement in the Muslim world. Instead of asking whether Islam and democracy are compatible, he asks, “under what conditions can Muslims instigate democratization within their countries?” He challenges the Orientalist view on Islamic exceptionalism by not only contesting the validity of the question about the compatibility of democracy and Islam, but also through a very thorough investigation of the post-Islamist movement in Iran and the Islamist movement in Egypt. He defines post-Islamism as a “condition” and a “project” that emphasizes change through religiosity and rights that arises after Islamism runs its course as a legitimate source of hope for political and economic development (p. 10-11). Through his in depth case studies he demonstrates that the state has been successful in suppressing the post-Islamist social movements and their secular and reformist demands for political change in Iran. While the state has been equally successful at suppressing opposition (the political Islamist movement) in Egypt, the Egyptian state has not been able to quell society's turn to Islamism.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran, Egypt