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  • Author: Priya Singh
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Robert O. Freedman\'s edited volume, Israel and the United States: Six Decades of U.S.-Israeli Relations, is a compilation of an interesting assortment of essays by Israeli and American scholars from various fields, contending with different aspects of a complicated and multilayered relationship that comprises not only diplomatic and economic links, but also religious, legal, military and strategic connections as well as common beliefs. The first section of the book articulates the political ties between the United States and Israel since 1948. It contends with U.S.-Israeli diplomatic relations, an enquiry of the progression of the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, and an analysis of the evolution of U.S. public attitudes toward Israel. David Makovsky\'s essay, which deals with the U.S. and the Arab–Israeli conflict, emphasizes that the U.S.\'s relationship with Israel and the Arab world is not a zero-sum game and that the United States can maintain good ties with both sides. The essay reiterates that Israel has been an asset for the United States rather than a liability, which has been suggested by the likes of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Robert Freedman, in contending with the policies of George Bush and Barack Obama towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, brings to the fore the similarities in their approaches as well as the significant differences, with the former pursuing an episodic approach while the latter has adopted a more continuous line. In his essay on the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, Dov Waxman discusses the ruptures and fissures that have emerged within the lobby and concludes that there is no single organization that can persuasively claim to exemplify the vast majority of American Jews; as such, its clout/influence is expected to wane. Amnon Cavari\'s essay deconstructs the shifting trends in American support for Israel, contending that a decline in support among college-educated Americans along with an upsurge in support among evangelical Christians could weaken bipartisan backing for Israel.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel
  • Author: Laura R. Olson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: THE UNITED STATES supposedly is premised on “separation of church and state,” which means the American government should be neutral regarding religion. But is that really true? The author, a law professor and committed secularist, has strong opinions on this matter. Particularly since the 2004 presidential election that returned George W. Bush to the U.S. presidency for a second term, Ledewitz has been concerned that American secularism—both as an individual choice and a stance on the part of government—is under threat. Although the proportion of secular Americans has been growing rapidly in the twenty-first century, the successful marriage of religion and conservative politics in the U.S. might be inhibiting secularism from full acceptance as a valid alternative to religious commitment. After completing two earlier books on secularism in the U.S., Ledewitz reached the rather specific conclusion “that American constitutional law stood in the way of any serious engagement of secularism with religion” (p. xiii, emphasis mine). Thus, he sets forth in Church, State, and the Crisis in American Secularism to accomplish two tasks. First, he aims to detail how and why he feels current interpretation of “church-state separation” by the U.S. Supreme Court is problematic. Second, he endeavors to construct an alternative legal approach that would put religious people on common ground with secularists before the eyes of American law.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard Falk
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War marked the end of adversary patterns of alignment in the Middle East, and the ebbing dichotomy between the U.S. and USSR led to vast uncertainty. In response, then-President Turgut Özal stated, as early as 1991, that Turkey should seek an active foreign policy. It was not, until the AK Party came to power a decade later, however, that Ankara began to seriously question Turkey's acquiescence in Washington's strategic unipolarity. Ahmet Davutoglu's appointment as Foreign Minister emphasized Turkey's independence and activism, causing unease in Washington. Nevertheless, the U.S. has been generally flexible toward a more independent Turkish foreign policy, under the condition that it does not threaten vital U.S. interests.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Özge Zi̇hni̇oğlu
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The EU has been successfully exercising its conditionality as a key aspect of its enlargement strategy since the 1990s. However, with no accession prospect in sight and the perceived lack of credibility and consistency of the EU's conditionality, Turkey's already unequal partnership with Europe has been thrown further off balance. This article argues that this is not the case, as the EU retains its leverage over Turkey, even in the absence of factors that are known as central to the successful implementation of the EU's conditionality. This article suggests two main reasons. First, despite the rhetoric on the interdependence of Turkish and the EU economy, this interdependence is not on equal footing and the Turkish economy is heavily dependent on the EU. Second, there is rising concern in Turkey over free trade talks between the EU and the United States, with its potential impact on the Turkish economy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Fawaz A. Gerges
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: WITHIN Fawaz Gerges' text, The End of America's Moment?-Obama and the Middle East, the author endeavors to examine President Obama's implementation of inherently stagnant policies towards the highly volatile and rapidly evolving Middle East. Furthermore, Gerges elaborates on the manner in which the globalists and the Israel-first school succeed in shaping public opinion in the United States about the Middle East and how this process perpetually cripples Obama.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Laurence Raw
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: ALTHOUGH written from a variety of perspectives at different points in history, all three books reviewed here offer penetrating insights into Turkish politics past and present, as well as commenting on how they are interpreted both inside and outside the country. Written in English, while he was guest professor at the University of Marburg, Germany (having quit his post at Boğaziçi University in protest at the law curtailing academic freedom), Gündüz Vassaf's Prisoners of Ourselves comprises a series of meditations mostly written between October 1986 and March 1987. His basic thesis is straightforward enough: although human beings consider themselves members of the free world, they are actually subject to totalitarian rule. He surveys some familiar binaries—for example, madness and sanity—and shows how they are used to curtail individual liberties. Western historians have conventionally accepted that the Nazi period in Germany was one of collective madness. However the validity of that judgment can be called into question in the light of Adorno and Horkheimer's research, which discovered that anti-semitism in the United States was much higher than it had been in Germany after Hitler came to power. Vassaf concludes that everyone is part of that “collective madness,” in which one nation is willfully prioritized over another as a means of sustaining power (p. 35). Anyone questioning that notion is abruptly silenced.
  • Topic: Politics, History
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Masaki Kakizaki
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The US-Turkish relationship has faced trouble since the Iraq War. On the one hand, the current Justice and Development Party government has pursued new foreign policy initiatives toward its neighbors in the Middle East. Turkey's approach toward Iran, for instance, has caused policy makers and commentators in Washington to wonder "did the United States lose Turkey?" On the other hand, we have observed a rise of anti-Americanism in Turkey. During the Cold War era, anti-Americanism in Turkey was not so widespread; it was contained to leftist circles. Since 2003, in contrast, anti-American attitudes have become widespread among citizens regardless of their political and ideological positions. What accounts for this rise of Turkish public opinion unfavorable to the United States? Under what conditions could the image of America in Turkey improve? Giray Sadik's American Image in Turkey addresses these interesting and important questions. He considers how American foreign policy has affected Turkish public opinion toward the United States between 2000 and 2006.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Washington, Turkey
  • Author: Brannon Wheeler
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This first book in a new series from the Institute of Ismaili Studies includes a dozen essays on various aspects of the Islamic world, cutting across geographical and temporal lines, from a wide-range of scholars working in the UK, US, and Australia. The introduction to the volume, by its editor Amyn Sajoo, provides an original and broad overview of the major issues facing the study of the Muslim world today, including the events and aftermath of September 11, globalization and the so-called “clash of civilizations” model, the foundations of Islam, modes of expression within Islamic civilization, the role of women and liberal thought in Islam, and the increasing importance of “networks” on the conceptualization of what constitutes the Muslim world.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Australia
  • Author: Mark E. Hanshaw
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Scholarship devoted to the examination of the Muslim faith has matured in recent decades. No longer is Islam seen as a monolithic institution, but its greatdiver-sityand the varied histories and experiences of the community's members have been the focus of considerable scholarly attention. Yet, beyond the scholarly arena, the diversity of the Muslim community is not widely recognized.
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States
  • Author: Ann Stewart
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Pascale Fournier's book addresses the highly contentious and complex relationship between multiculturalism, gender relations, and family law in liberal states. It adds to the rapidly growing body of legal scholarship that grapples with the legal consequences of cultural diversity within states that once may have contributed through colonialism to the creation of pluralist legal systems 'elsewhere.' Unfortunately, this scholarship tends to replicate the historical divide with too little attention paid to the rich analyses of 'law' by those working on and within legal systems in what can now be described as the 'global south.' Hopefully the series in which Fournier's book is published (Cultural Diversity and Law edited by Prakash Shah) will bridge this gap.
  • Political Geography: United States, France, Germany