Anne de Tinguy (Dir.)
Looking into Eurasia : the year in politics provides some keys to understand the events and phenomena that have left their imprint on a region that has undergone major mutation since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991: the post-soviet space. With a cross-cutting approach that is no way claims to be exhaustive, this study seeks to identify the key drivers, the regional dynamics and the underlying issues at stake
Bayram Balci, Juliette Tolay
While the issue of Syrian refugees has led an increasing number of countries to work on curbing arrivals, one country, Turkey, hosts almost half of these refugees. Yet, far from imposing restrictions, Turkey has distinguished itself for its open border policy and large-scale humanitarian contribution. Turkey’s generosity alone is not sufficient to understand this asylum policy put in place specifically for Syrians. There are indeed a number of political factors that indicate a certain level of instrumentalisation of this issue. In particular, Turkey’s benevolent attitude can be explained by Turkey’s early opposition to Assad in the Syrian conflict and its wish to play a role in the post-conflict reconstruction of Syria, as well as by its willingness to extract material and symbolic benefits from the European Union. But the refugee crisis also matters at the level of domestic politics, where different political parties (in power or in the opposition) seem to have used the refugee issue opportunistically, at the expense of a climate favorable to Syrians’ healthy integration in Turkey
Müsiad International Fair held in Istanbul in 2014 aroused great public interest due to the strong presence of political elites as well as to the mobilization of a large network of institutions, firms and media partners. International exhibitions are relevant fields to explore the formation of trade circuits and the creation of sociabilities, as well as to question the political and international issues central to the construction of trade networks and markets. This event appears as the representation of the Turkish state as it is formed under the AKP power. We witness a double trend of reconfiguration and of internationalization of the state constituting processes through the phenomena of increased interactions between private enterprise and public action on one side and the shrinkage of patronage networks on the other. Participating to this event therefore becomes a question of legitimization and delegitimization for private actors regarding these networks of power, the production of which is based on the presentation of economic and industrial productions and goes together with the creation of Imaginaries. The ethnographic study of the fair shows how industrial, cultural and symbolic representations bring about the production of two types of Imaginary, one related to the reinvention of the idea of the ummah across merchant networks and the other referring to the supremacy of Turkey as the carrier of this project.
The Justice and Development Party (JDP) has been in power in Turkey since 2002, consolidating its electoral support among an array of social groups ranging from broad appeal among the popular classes to business leaders and a growing middle class. The success of the JDP is a consequence of the manner in which the party inserted itself into certain economic and social sectors. While the party has internalized the principles of reducing the public sphere and outsourcing to the private sector, it has not restricted the reach of government intervention. On the contrary, it has become increasingly involved in certain sectors, including social policy and housing. It has managed this through an indirect approach that relies on intermediaries and private allies such as the businesses and associations that is has encouraged. In this way, the JDP has developed and systematized modes of redistribution that involve the participation of conservative businessmen who benefit from their proximity to the decision-makers, charitable organizations, and underprivileged social groups. These public policies have reconfigured different social sectors in a way that has strengthened the Party’s influence.
Jean-Pierre Pagé (dir.)
Lulzim Peci, Ilir Dugolli, Leon Malazogu
This article addresses the sensitive question of Church-State relations in Greece. Recent studies have suggested that the Greek Church’s discourse was plainly incompatible with modern conceptions of liberal democracy. Populism and nationalism have been the two theoretical concepts used in relation with the Church. Discourse analysis based on public declarations of Church officials has been the main methodological tool. The Greek identity cards’ crisis of the nineties has been its testing ground. Through an analysis of this “crisis” this article intends to show that these methods can offer only very limited perspectives of understanding the process for two main reasons. First, they show little interest for sociological analysis and especially for the internal functioning of the Church. Second, discourses are one outcome of the actors’ strategies but have to be deciphered and not taken for granted. Analysts disregard one of the main presuppositions of semantics theory: discourses are produced within a specific socio-historical context and according to certain prefabricated schemes. This dual pattern of production allows for continuity as well as for change. Thus, this article also argues that a Church¹s conservative discourse may be closely related to the efforts of certain actors within this institution to renovate it. While refuting the “clash of civilizations” thesis, this article finally intends to suggest that the renewed interest for religion in general and orthodoxy in particular due to this thesis should be put to use by researchers in order to acquire new and more comprehensive socio-historical accounts of the Greek Church.
As the European Union has become ever more powerful in terms of political output, it has also turned out to be a potential source of human rights violations. While national governments have disagreed on setting up consequential control mechanisms for several decades, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights pre-empted intergovernmental choice. The European courts’ paths unexpectedly crossed when they were both impelled to work out a way to deal with a twofold human rights conundrum situated at the EU level. Turbulent interaction between Europe’s two supranational courts has not only led to a relative improvement of the protection of human rights, but has also deeply transformed the course of European integration. The courts’ increasingly nested linkage has given rise to new forms of supranational judicial diplomacy between European judges. As a result of their evolving relationship, which is simultaneously underpinned by competitive and cooperative logics, the traditional opposition between an “economic Europe” and a “human rights Europe” has been overcome and the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights is high on the political agenda. Yet, this process of integration through human rights remains a fragile and incomplete endeavour. Just as in co-operative binary puzzles where two players must solve the game together and where both lose as one of them tries to win over the other, solving Europe’s binary human rights puzzle has required of European judges a new way of thinking in which it’s not the institutions, but their linkage that matters.
Kosovo and East Timor have often been jointly considered for their common experience of new ‘international protectorate’. These two territories were ‘liberated’ in 1999 by multilateral ‘interventions’ and thereafter ruled by United Nations transitional administrations. This feature is at the core of nearly all comparative exercises about the two territories to this day. However, another less obvious set of resemblances calls for renewed attention: it was indicated by the post-liberation resilience of indigenous institutions that had emerged during the 20 to 25 years of resistance. From this initial observation, I spent months in the field between 2000 and 2003 and uncovered a wider array of similarities. Three main parallels appeared. In both, the clandestine resistance networks, described here as ‘crypto-states’ have 1) directed their strategic choices on the resort to violence according to perceived international opinion, 2) while remaining a hybrid association of anti-state kinship groups and ‘modern’ urban elites, 3) with the result of producing a dual discourse on nationhood: exclusive and militant on the one hand, inclusive and ‘liberal’ on the other. After empirically discovering what may well be a singular political object, a necessary step was to assess its relevance to social science research. This required testing its set of similar features against established political theory on state and nation building: First by assessing the very ‘stateness’ of these clandestine administrations, then by exploring their rich and often contradictory production on national identity. In conclusion, this preliminary exploration suggests that the parallel trajectories of Kosovo and East Timor during the past 25 years point to a new way of nation-state building in a context of external constraint, directed by the changing post-cold war norms on international intervention. I argue here that this type of ‘externalized’ state construction and nation building is perhaps ill-fitted for the post-conflict construction of stable institutions.
The political determination of the Mediterranean border of the European Union seen from the perspective of the Southern European countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta) illustrates the symbolic and political importance for these nations of maintaining control of the border. It has a significant impact on the types of controls that are enacted and the interplay between national and European decisions. Placing this question on the agenda brings to light a Mediterranean perspective regarding the exterior borders of the European Union that is largely determined by the conditions of integration of the different countries into the Schengen area. This new border regime is the result of complex political games and is seen as a security issue. The actual set of controls seems to be less planned and legal-rational than simply erratic and the result of tensions between internal tactics, nation state strategies and attempts at bringing within the ring of EU.
On December 2, 2004, the European Union took over from NATO the main peacekeeping forces that had been deployed in Bosnia-and-Herzegovina since the signature of the Dayton Accords. The launch of EU military operation Althea was presented by its supporters as a major test for the ESDP, especially as it pertained to a wider Europeanization of post-conflict management in Bosnia. Against this background, Althea provides a fruitful locus to assess one of the EU’s most frequent claims - that it possesses a specific know-how when it comes to combining the military and the civilian aspects of post-conflict management. In this study, Althea is primarily approached through the way it is viewed by both its participants and by Bosnians. Several issues are addressed: First, how do historical legacies of the international presence in Bosnia weigh upon the very definition of mission Althea, its implementation and its local receptions? Second, coordination of the various European actors present on the field has emerged as one of the major challenges the EU needs to face. Third, the study draws attention to the possible discrepancy between various understandings (among Althea personnel and Bosnian people) of what a European military mission entails. Last but not least, the study highlights complex rationalities at work when phasing out an operation like Althea. EU exit strategies seem to derive rather from bureaucratic logic than objective assessment of stability in Bosnia.
The January 1997 popular protest in Bulgaria revealed how fragile representative democracy's legitimacy is likely to be in post-communist regimes. An often underlooked item in the transitologists' studies on Eastern Europe, political representation thus provides a vantage point for monitoring the process of democratic consolidation. By adopting political linkage as the conceptual focus of our investigation, we way attempt to elucidate the ways in wich the relationship between the rulers and the ruled develops and consequently unveils factors conducive to the routinisation of a democratic political relationship. The approach adopted her entails an emphasis on the social imaginaries of representation with a view to to identifying citizens' expectations about their appointees as well as the symbolic and material bases interactions between voters and representatives build upon. In a country where the differentiation of economic interests and their channeling by political parties where hampered by the slow pace of structural reforms, political linkages are not primarily grounded upon the voters' rational assessment of their preferences. Rather they tend to be rooted in social representations of politics. While being relegated into a distant sphere of corrupted and particularistic otherness, politics is nonetheless supposed to meet essentially clientelistic expectations. In a context where deputies enjoy a poor institutional legitimacy, any failure to guarantee social and ecnomic redistribution threatens the representational linkage with distruption.
The end of communism in Yugoslavia ended up with the break up of the country and war. But the new states that broke off from the federation are themselves (except for Slovenia) multi-ethnic. How will they manage this problem? This question, even if at first it is posed in terms of minorities rights, raises a problem of democracy in general. The basic principles of the organization of democracy in the "national" state prevent a full affirmation of the members of minorities as citizens, defined first, and sometimes almost exclusively, as members nf their nation. Is there another mode of belonging to the state, a more effective participation in decision making? These are crucial questions of democracy that are raised (secularism in the widest sense, decentralization); another one is the role of the ethnic criterion in the political organization and the possible perversions that it induces (Bosnia-Herzgovina).
The violent disintegration of Yugoslavia has fundamentally shaken the Balkans. The disappearance of the Yugoslav federation - previously a pillar of stability in the region - and the quest for external allies amongst the protagonists in the present conflict have dramatically modified the regional framework. This structure itself had already undergone profound change due to the collapse of the pre-existing communist regimes. In this paper Radovan Vukadinovic examines the regional actors by analysing their fears, their short and long term interests and the development of their external relations. In the last part of the paper he attempts to provide a sketch of a new balance of power in a still blurred political landscape. He points out the defects of a model too rigidly based on the past: that of a Mittel European, "Catholic" alliance, in opposition to an "Orthodox" one. Instead the author detects two smaller coalitions emerging: on the one hand that of Greece, Rumania and Serbia and on the other, that of Turkey, Bulgaria and Albania.