Insight Turkey Volume 14 No 4 Book Reviews

Turkmenistan: Strategies of Power, Dilemmas of Development

There are few regions more unknown and caricatured than Central Asia, and within it perhaps no country is less understood than Turkmenistan. Central Asia is oil, caravanserais, the Great Game, and the Silk Road; in the popular imagination, Turkmenistan’s only distinguishing feature is its reputation as a “Stalinist Disneyland” with revolving statues, Gaddafiesque Books of Wisdom, and empty cities of marble. The people are absent.

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The State of Islam: Culture and Cold War Politics in Pakistan

One of Toor’s central theses is that within and outside the context of Pakistan’s history and politics, Islam is far from being a monolith. For Toor, Islam as a set of religio-political entities has been and continues to be invested with different meanings and associations by different actors who have enormously different goals

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The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons from the Democratic Uprising

The book, which comprises ten brief chapters, gives a concise history of what happened in the Arab world since the protests first started in Tunisia in December 2010. The book is organized around the lessons that can be learned from the revolutions

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Hoca: Türk Dış Politikasında Davutoğlu Etkisi

This book deals with both the professional and academic life of the foreign minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoğlu, and provides information on him and on developments in Turkish foreign policy.

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The Shift: Israel-Palestine from Border Struggle to Ethnic Conflict

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains one of the most intractable, globally sensitive and over-studied of national disputes. The past few decades have witnessed a deluge of scholarly and polemic writing covering the history, nature, and causes of the violence, as well as those exploring future obstacles to peace

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The Contradictions of Israeli Citizenship: Land, Religion and State

One might be forgiven for presuming that a new book called The Contradictions of Israeli Citizenship would present innovative insights about the place of Palestinian Israelis—and their stateless West Bank-dwelling brethren—in modern Israeli society

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Gender and Society in Turkey: The Impacts of Neoliberal Policies, Political Islam and EU Accession

Women have been both the subjects and objects of Turkish modernization for a long time. They have always been at the forefront of burning questions in Turkey, either with the decades-old debate of wearing headscarves in public institutions, or, lately, with Erdoğan’s agenda-setting remarks that women need to give birth to at least three children or abortion will be constrained.

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The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations

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

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Atatürk: An Intellectual Biography

This work by M. Şükrü Hanioğlu somewhat represents a departure from previous work on the subject in that it seeks to distance Atatürk from the greatman theories that have plagued his legacy. In doing so, Hanioğlu evaluates the development of Atatürk’s political views in terms of both the international and domestic contexts of the late Ottoman Empire.

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Global Perspectives on Global History: Theories and Approaches in a Connected World

What is global history? How does one study it? These are the main questions Dominic Sachsenmaier wants to answer.

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Converging Europe: The Transformation of Social Policy in the Enlarged European Union and in Turkey

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?

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US Presidents and Foreign Policy Mistakes

Socrates’ pupil Chaerephon once asked an oracle “who is the wisest of all men?” The oracle responded that Socrates is the wisest of all because of his self-awareness. According to philosophers from Socrates to Montaigne, Spinoza, Kant, true wisdom and full knowledge may be a utopian fantasy

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