Current Issue

Spring 2017 Volume 19 No. 3





The Legitimacy Crisis of the U.S. Elite and the Rise of Donald Trump


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 9-22  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.01

The American political elite’s legitimacy crisis is demonstrated by Trump’s rise by challenging Wall Street, both main parties’ leadership, and limited government. His challenge overlapped with Leftist Bernie Sanders’ who also focused on deep inequalities in the U.S. The crisis is rooted in the neoliberal political-economic model adopted in the 1970s to shore up American elite power but which generated major crises at home and challenges abroad. Such challenges demand a new ‘grand bargain’ that is unlikely to emerge without prolonged domestic political strife and resistance to American global power.
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Mr. Trump, Post Nuclear Ban Treaty, NATO’s Nuclear Weapons in Europe are Obsolete


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 23-33   ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.02

This commentary makes the case as to why the U.S. tactical nuclear weapons that have been stationed in Europe since the 1960s should be removed, and how this could be done in the most effective way under the presidency of Donald Trump. It concludes with a summary of the expected benefits of this move, and a reminder that the costs of continued muddling through are substantial.
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The Long History of Islam as a Collective “Other” of the West and the Rise of Islamophobia in the U.S. after Trump


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 35-51  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.03

In the last two decades, Islamophobia in the West has become mainstream. Covertly, Islamophobia is the last link in the chain of a long tradition of Eurocentrism, ethnocentrism, xenophobia, and racism. This article analyzes the recent rise of Islamophobic policies and practices in the United States. In particular, the false fear of Islam, which carried Trump into power, seems to have turned into a ‘reason’ for all kinds of violence and oppression against Muslims both domestically and abroad.
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Right Wing Populism in the West: Social Media Discourse and Echo Chambers


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 53-68  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.04

The commentary examines the roots of electoral shifts towards right wing populist parties and groups in the West. It shows how legitimate economic grievances of lower classes have been strategically appropriated by political elites to project xenophobic discourses and how globalist-capitalist parties capitalize on such sentiments. It discusses the British Brexit vote as a quintessential example of strategic misplacement of migration issue as the main problem to disguise the democratic deficit of a hyper-normalized neoliberal economic order. The commentary also examines the links between technological design of Social Media Technologies and the notion of post-politics era.
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Al-Aqsa Mosque’s Incident in July 2017: Affirming the Policy of Deterrence


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 69-82  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.05

The whole Middle East region passed through an upheaval and transformation for two weeks in the middle of July 2017. The event, now called: “The uprising of al-Asbat Gate,” not only took place in the heart of Jerusalem, one of the most important cities in the world, but also in the heart of al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the most heated and sensitive spots on earth. Those two weeks could be indeed considered as a milestone in the ongoing clash in the Holy Land.
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The Belt and Road Initiative and Middle Eastern Politics: Challenges Ahead


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 83-91  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.06

Involving sixty countries, the Belt and One Road initiative sparked a global debate because of its potential economic and political implications. Sceptics argue this project cannot achieve its objectives as it requires close cooperation amongst many countries whose national interests are on a collision course. The optimists contend the initiative provides a win-win scenario for participating countries. This paper argues that success of the project in the Middle East depends on overcoming several challenges including: eliminating security threats and terrorist organizations; finding sustainable solutions to political tensions and armed conflicts; and consolidating good governance.
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Trump and the Rise of the Media-Industrial Complex in American Politics


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 93-120  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.08

While controversies and debates proliferate about Trump's Presidency, there is little analysis of the context and factors leading to his rise and politics. The liberal wild card (Trump has won, but Russia swayed the 2016 U.S. elections) often conceals from view a significant episode that involves new players and dynamics shifting the Republican Party and U.S. politics to the radical right, which ultimately contributed to Trump’s election. This analysis provides an investigation into the actors and intricacies that enabled Trump’s election success and shaped contemporary U.S. politics. It examines structural, cultural and personal dynamics behind Trump’s victory. In particular, the study identifies the specific role played by new media platforms and industrial interests (the media-industrial complex) as a new force shaping U.S. politics.
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U.S.-China Competition over Nuclear North Korea


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 121-137  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.09

The often-used description in the American mainstream media and geopolitical literature of “North Korea’s nuclear aggression” is misleading. I argue in the first section that Pyongyang’s nuclear strategy has been significantly shaped by the perceived U.S. nuclear existential threat since the early 1950s, portending a quest for a self-reliant nuclear deterrent for the DPRK. The shifting role and impact of U.S.-China competition in the course of the first and second U.S.-DPRK nuclear standoffs is explored as background for examining, in the second section, an intensified nuclear confrontation in the first half of 2017. The concluding section considers common-security engagement in charting an alternative pathway toward establishing a working peace system on the Korean peninsula
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Trump and the Middle East: ‘Barking Dogs Seldom Bite’


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 139-158  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.07

In drafting its Middle East policy, the Trump administration appears to depart from the soft power rhetoric of the Obama years, seemingly favoring a more hawkish, hard power approach to dealing with America’s most important interests in the region: the defeat of ISIS and the containment of Iran. While many regional partners hope for a radical U.S. foreign policy shift after years of perceived American disengagement, Trump seems to be constrained by path dependency. He inherits a region in turmoil, a public adverse to regional military engagements for peripheral interests, and a major strategic discrepancy between ambition and capability. Consequently, the new White House will be forced to continue Obama’s policy of delegation and multilateralism.
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Anatomy of the Libyan Crisis


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 159-179  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.10

In Libya high hopes for change, experienced in 2012 and 2013 after Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown in 2011 by a civil rebellion following a 42-year rule, were lost in the civil war which broke out as a result of a coup attempt in 2014 by Khalifa Haftar. This article aims to investigate the Libyan crisis by taking into consideration the actors involved in the crisis, the causes, bottlenecks and the positions of regional and international actors. The article argues that the Libyan crisis, in a sense, was shaped under the deep impact of the competition experienced among the regional actors in the Arab World following the Arab Spring and suggests that the support for Khalifa Haftar especially provided by some of the countries in the region deepened the Libyan crisis and prevented the Presidential Council established under the leadership of UN Libya Mission from guiding the political transition process in Libya.
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Gülenism as “Religionist” Kemalism


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 181-206  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.11

Utilizing Gramsci’s conceptualization of hegemonic struggles through both coercive means of the state and also the production of consent in civil society, the article conducts a comparative textual analysis of the writings and speeches of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Fetullah Gülen. In so doing, the article focuses on four main themes: (1) sacralization of modern knowledge, science, and education; (2) militarism and centrism; (3) statism and corporatism; and, (4) ethnic nationalism and Turkism. It argues that the ideology of the Gülen’s “service movement” shares the principles of Kemalism in the above-mentioned domains, while couching them within a religious discursive framework. Since Gülenism uses Quranic terminology out of context and for secular ends, the term “religionist” is used instead of “religious” to describe this ideology.
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The Role of the Islamic Community in Peacebuilding in Post-War Bosnia and Herzegovina: Case Study of East Bosnia


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 207-230 ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017193.12

The main aim of this paper is to prove that religious communities can play a vital role in building peace and trust among conflict-divided societies such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. A special focus has been put on five municipalities in East Bosnia that survived the genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass deportation. Enforcement, peacekeeping, agreement making, and institution and capacity-building are the main elements that have to be taken into consideration in the process of peacebuilding. The peacebuilding process is challenged in East Bosnia due to the lack of desire on the part of the Serbian Orthodox Church to take part and be involved in a joint peacebuilding process with the Islamic Community. 
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The Democratization Process in Turkey: Theory, Legacy, and Prospects


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, pp. 233-240  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.13

Turkey’s Democratization Process
Edited By Carmen Rodríguez, Antonio Ávalos,Hakan Yılmaz and Ana I. Planet
London and New York: Routledge, 2014, 444 pages, £110.00, ISBN: 9780415836968


Debating Turkish Modernity: Civilization, Nationalism, and the EEC
By Mehmet Döşemeci
New York: Cambridge, 2013, 240 pages, £57.00, ISBN: 9781107044913

Democratic Reform and Consolidation:The Cases of Mexico and Turkey
By Evren Çelik Wiltse
Colchester: ECPR Press, 2015, 288 pages, £24.00, ISBN: 9781907301674

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Why Did Europe Conquer The World?
PHILIP T. HOFFMAN, Reviewed by Şener Aktürk, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, p. 243

The Shape of the New: Four Big Ideas and How They Made the Modern World
SCOTT L. MONTGOMERY and DANIEL CHIROT, Reviewed by Emrah Kekİllİ, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2016, p. 247

On the State: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1989-1992
PATRICK CHAMPAGNE ET AL. (EDS.), Reviewed by Avishek Ray, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, p. 251

Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane
S. FREDERICK STARR, Reviewed by Amina Smits, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, p. 253

Global Climate Change, Environment and Energy: Global Challenges and Opportunities to Global Stability
FİLİZ KATMAN (ED.), Reviewed by Elİf Nuroğlu, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, p. 256

Migration, Ethics & Power: Spaces of Hospitality in International Politics
DAN BULLEY, Reviewed by Yakup Sarı, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, p. 258

Engineers of Jihad: The Curious Connection Between Violent Extremism and Education
DIEGO GAMBETTA and STEFFEN HERTOG (EDS.), Reviewed by Hakan Kıyıcı, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, p. 260

From Deep State to Islamic State: The Arab Counter-Revolution and Its Jihadi Legacy
JEAN-PIERRE FILIU, Reviewed by Osman Türk, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, p. 263

The Circassian: A Life of Esref Bey, Late Ottoman Insurgent and Special Agent
BENJAMIN C. FORTNA, Reviewed by İrem Gündüz-Polat, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, p. 265

How to Choose a Leader: Machiavelli’s Advice to Citizens
MAURIZIO VIROLI, Reviewed by Ibrahim Mukhtar, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 3 / 2017, p. 268