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  • Author: Muhammed Kürsad Özekin, Zeynep Arıöz
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: With the rise of intra-state conflicts in the Middle East, particularly in the last two decades, the causality relationship between oil wealth and political stability has become a matter of debate in the literature. However, despite the proliferating research interest, the impact of oil revenues on regime stability and civil conflicts still remains contested in both theoretical and empirical terms. Bearing this limitation in mind, this article aims to present a fairly general but analytically broadened framework to explain the relationship between the decline of the oil-rentier states, and the rise of intra-state conflicts experienced in the Middle East in the past two decades. Putting matter into the historical context of the state formation and the colonial legacy in the Middle East this study presents a slightly different reading of the causality relation between oil revenue and the conflict-proneness of rentier states. Thus this article, to a certain extent, moves beyond the conventional explanations of the rentier state theory and argues that oil revenue cannot be taken as an explanatory variable of conflicts per se.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Philipp O. Amour
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: In December 2010, a revolutionary spark in Tunisia initiated what is now referred to as the Arab Spring. Since then, many countries across the broader Middle East have been swept up in uprisings that have led to fundamental shifts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. The same drive for change has also led to minor changes in Jordan, Morocco, and elsewhere.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Morocco
  • Author: Ayfer Erdogan
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The last two years have witnessed an unexpected series of events unfolding in the Arab World leading us to make comparisons with the fall of Communism in 1989. Developments in the Middle East and North Africa made headway at a rapid pace. The overthrow of governments in Tunisia and Egypt, the civil war in Libya and the ongoing inner conflicts in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen were just as unexpected and stunning as the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. It is ironic that many observers attempting to make sense of these events have chosen the term 'Arab Spring' to define this movement, which somehow recalls the Eastern European analogue 'Prague Spring' in 1968. Many political scientists and analysts viewed these events taking the fall of Communism as a common point of reference. The Arab Spring is reminiscent of the Eastern European Revolutions in 1989 in many respects, yet a deeper analysis shows that significant similarities are outweighed by key differences. This paper attempts to address the recent wave of democratization which has swept across the Arab world in a comparative context and discuss the similarities and differences between the Arab Spring in 2011 and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Eastern Europe, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain
  • Author: Sean Foley
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: What was the intellectual vision that led to the Arab Spring and what are its roots? This article investigates how that vision took shape in the years immediately before the Arab Spring through the work of poets and popular Arab singers like Hamza Namira and Maher Zain. It argues that the vision in art and politics mirrored the desire of many Arabs and Muslims to find new ways to solve the challenges plaguing their societies. The vision also reflected a) how the downturn in the global economy after 2008 combined with major environmental changes to galvanize millions to act in the Arab World b) how social media and new communications tools helped to mobilize dissent and to limit the ability of governments to effectively repress their populations. More than two years after the Arab Spring began in late 2010 the movements it spawned are radically reconstructing societies in the Middle East. They are also undermining some of the basic assumptions of the international system, many of which have been in place since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Elizabeth Bishop
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Citizens of the Arab Middle East have taken part in a wave of democracy movements; in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia at least, their protests have resulted in regime change. Drawing on Michel Foucault's personal experiences in one of these countries, and informed by his concept of “biopolitics,” this essay connects Egyptians' current liberation struggle with their earlier revolution in 1952, in order to compare these experiences with Iraqis' 1958 Tammuz revolution. Were new social media as important, as the level of funding dedicated to the military? And what is the role of diplomacy in a revolutionary moment?
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Libya, Egypt
  • Author: Paul Kubicek
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The “Turkish model” has been upheld as a positive example for Middle Eastern countries, particularly in light of the Arab Spring. While Turkey is, in many respects, successful—it has a dynamic economy and in recent years has made great strides toward political liberalization— and the current Turkish government has high standing in the Arab world, this paper will argue that the applicability of a “Turkish model” to other settings is limited. In part, this is due to confusion over what the “Turkish model” precisely is or should be. For many years, the “Turkish model” was taken to be Kemalism, or a statist, authoritarian, secular order imposed “from above” with the goals of modernization and Westernization. More recently, the “Turkish model” would mean embracing a more moderate-type of political Islam, exemplified by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). While the AKP has proven to be successful in Turkey, it came to power in conditions very different than those that prevail in the Arab world at present. In particular, the AKP has evolved to reconcile itself to secularism in Turkey and embraced a program of Europeanization through accession talks with the European Union, an option not on the table in Arab states. Finally, a comparison of the political culture of Turkey with that in much of the Arab world reveals significant differences in values and priorities between the two cases.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Moritz Pieper
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Turkey's role in the Iranian nuclear dossier is often portrayed as that of a 'facilitator' and 'mediator' in scholarly analyses. NATO member Turkey was seen as a potential bridge-builder between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the 'Western camp' of negotiators. During prime minister ErdoÄŸan's first legislature, however, Ankara's and Washington's foreign policy outlooks and strategic priorities started to diverge in the course of Turkey's new regional engagement in what has been theorized as a 'Middle-Easternization' of Turkish foreign policy. It is Turkey's location as a geostrategic hub in a politically instable region that informed Turkey's 'Zero problems with neighbors' policy and foreign minister DavutoÄŸlu's advocacy for a 'Strategic Depth' in Turkey's foreign and regional policies. Ankara emphasizes its need to uphold sound relations with its neighbors and publicly stresses an unwillingness to go along with Western pressure on Iran, and insists on the principle of non-interference and Iran's right to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes. All the same, Turkish-Iranian relations are undergoing a deterioration in the wake of the Syrian civil war at the time of writing, with both sides supporting diametrically opposite causes and factions. Turkish-Iranian fundamentally differing conceptions of regional order will also impact upon Turkey's leverage power to defuse the Iranian nuclear crisis. This paper therefore adds a timely contribution to our understanding of a multifaceted and nuanced Turkish foreign policy toward Iran that can be a critical complement to 'Western' diplomatic initiatives in the search for new paradigms for a new Middle East order.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iran, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Henelito A. Sevilla
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring has brought significant changes to the political landscape in many Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries since early 2011. It has also affected the geo strategic and economic interests of powerful emerging Asian states, especially China and other net-energy consuming countries. One immediate result of the Arab Spring is its highly disrupted impact (a ' Black Swan') on the production and supply of crude oil to the economies in Asia due to their high degree of reliance on hydrocarbon from the Middle East. Chinese reactions to Arab Spring have fed tensions between itself and the countries with which it shares the South China Sea, most importantly the Philippines and Vietnam. This paper demonstrates that the black swan effect of the Arab Spring is manifested in the renewal of a geo-strategic competition in the South China Sea as China is re-asserting its historical claims over the control of the area and of its possible hydrocarbon reserves.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Vahit Yucesoy
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Well-researched, and well-documented, L'Iran et la Turquie face au Printemps arabe (Iran and Turkey in the face of the Arab Spring), written by authors Mohammad-Reza Djalili and Thierry Kellner, sets out to analyse the Arab Spring from the vantage point of two major non-Arab powers of the Middle East. Given the shortage of academic books on the reaction of these two major powers to the Arab Spring, the authors' book comes at a very pertinent time.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Bulend Aydin Ertekin
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: According to the common idea, "the economic power determines the political power." By this general principle, when we look at the powerful states, we see that these states (countries) have, at the same time, the powerful political effect on the other actors. In this paper, some trade and economic data of Turkey are shown in order to localize its place in the World rankings. By this purpose, this paper argues the fact that Turkey which, being one of the countries belonging G-20, has tried since 1991 to play a big role in its bilateral relations in Caucasia, Central Asia and Middle East (CCAME). However, when the data of international business of Turkey and those of each one of the countries of Central Asia treated in the contents of research are studied, it is seen very clearly that the influence of Turkey in Central Asia is not very dominant or does not create a dominating effect over the economic plan in spite of the existence of the diplomatic effects, visa facilities and the visits based upon the cultural level and mutually testified. Without any doubt, although nobody can deny the existence and the probability of the gradual growth of Turkey's relations in CCAME's countries, Turkey, whose face is turned mainly towards the occident and the large majority of trade made within the European countries,tries to be an influential actor in the determined areas. Naturally, in spite of the celebration of Nawruz with the Turkic World, acting as a Muslim country in Middle East, and accepting the norms of European Union as a European democratic and laicized country in Europe, Turkey presents several identities and makes it a multi-colored actor who can be used in favor of Turkey's interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East