Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Stabilizing Disarray in the Muslim World: Turkey and the European Union

Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Stabilizing Disarray in the Muslim World: Turkey and the European Union

Article excerpt


From Pan-Turanism to Pan-Islamism and from orientalism to European centrism there has occurred a shift in the foreign policy orientations of Turkey towards a pan-geographical foreign policy that is "functional" and allows realization of its potentialities. It aims at combining East & West and embraces North & South in the future [(Adib-Moghaddam, 2014a) Also see (AdibMoghaddam, 2014b)].1For the purpose, a modern Turley under the 'strong' leadership - which has shown the political and strategic 'will' to take bold steps - has stepped up efforts for the restoration of the past glory it enjoyed in the ancient times. It has been active in the international system for positive purposes in order to help solve the issues which plague the Muslim world.

Middle East and the Gulf region has been in turmoil because of a number of factors, most important being the internal dissatisfaction of the youth with the prevailing social, political, and economic conditions; the proxy wars being fought between different states; wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc.; intervention of the competing great powers and other great games going on in the region;and most importantly rise of the extremist organizations like AlQaeda and most recently 'Islamic' State of Iraq and Syria. These issues have been dominant in determining the future of the region. How Turkey as an actor or factor may influence the final outcome or the processes involved in the Middle East specifically and the Muslim world generally, remain the important question that this study intends to explore.

Theoretical framework

The study employs the theoretical tools available in the field of foreign policy analysis and complex interdependence. Under the impact of technological and financial interdependence foreign policy has been transformed in 3 contexts:

1. Making of foreign policy

2. The content of foreign policy

3. Implementation of foreign policy

In the first phase, it is the process of the foreign policy decision making which is constrained by the complex interdependence. Although the cognitive constraints of the decision makers play an important role in the decision making process, yet because of the process of the globalization and its attendant manifestations, the extraneous factors are now considered as important intervening variables to reach at the decision. The poliheuristic theory of foreign policy decision making being propounded by Alex Mintz and others, not only addresses the final outcome i.e. the decisions, but also take into account these intervening variables. It considers that the decision making process involves two stages: first the cognitive/psychological stage and second the rational choice stage (Mintz, 2004). Secondly, the interdependence processes impact the content of the foreign policy. Which issues are considered as urgent and which are considered as important. How the prioritization of the issues is to be done. And finally the interdependence processes affect the implementation of the foreign policy decisions made.

Overall these interdependence processes result in formulation of the foreign policies by the states which are being pursued for the common good. There is now an international brand of experts(Morse, 1969, pp. 375-379) pursuing agenda based on "low policies" seeking international collective goods and to create regulative devices to finance trade.

Secondly the rise of non-state actors and the phenomena of radical groups require concerted efforts for control and are beyond the capacity of a single state. Thirdly, the essential connect between Foreign Policy Analysis and International Relations theoretical literature is provided by the role theory. "Roles, like the civilian power role, make intuitive sense to policy makers and offer great potential to translate foreign policy and IR theory into meaningful, policy relevant advice" (Thies & Breuning, 2012, p. 3).

Similarly the underlying assumption of Complex Interdependence as elaborated by Robert O. …

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