Special Issue on ‘The Arab Spring’ published

logo_TJIRDr Philipp O. Amour is pleased to announce the publication of a special issue of the Journal ‘Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations’. The special issue was edited by Dr Philipp Amour and appeared as issue 12, no. 3, (Fall 2013). It is dedicated to ‘The Arab Spring: Comparative Perspectives and Regional Implications’. The special issue contains an introductaion, seven articles, and two book reviews.

In his Editorial note entiteld “The End of the Arab Spring”, Philipp Amour briefly highlights the achievements of the Arab Spring movement; argues however that the degree of the political transformation during the Arab Spring movement has been modest according to both quantitative and qualitative measures. He writes: “From today’s perspective, it appears that rival inter-Middle Eastern politics, sectarian and interreligious tensions have been undermining (if not choking) the self-regulation and self-transformation of the political processes of the Arab Spring movement. I believe that we are witnessing the end of the so-called Arab Spring.”

The special issue begins with Ufiem Maurice Ogbonnaya’s “Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya: A Comparative Analysis of Causes and Determinants.” Ogbonnaya argues that similar factors underlie the civic demonstrations in all three countries. However, the author emphasizes that those factors interacted differently with regard to the development of the uprisings. The author also makes interesting parallels to Nigeria.

The next article “From the Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe to the Arab Spring: Lessons for Democratic Transition” examines whether the contemporary Arab Spring movement is comparable to the Eastern Spring of 1989. Ayfer Erdogan comes to the conclusion that the contrasts are greater than the commonalities. The article demonstrates why the Arab Spring movement does not constitute the third wave of democracy, nor does it have the same cross-boundary impact.

Sean Foley’s article, ”When Life Imitates Art: The Spring, the Middle East, and the Modern World,” delivers deep insights into the anatomy of the Egyptian uprising from the perspectives of Arab poets and singers. Elizabeth Bishop’s article, “Blown away by the winds like ashes: Biopower in Egypt’s #25 Jan and Iraq’s 14 Tammuz,” addresses the concept of Foucault’s “biopower” to identify revolutionary findings among the contemporary political processes in 2011 Egypt and 1958 Iraq.

Paul Kubicek’s article, “Debating the Merits of the ‘Turkish Model’ for Democratization in the Middle East,” discusses the main pros and cons of Turkey as a model for the developing Arab democracies. Moritz Pieper’s article, “Turkish Foreign Policy toward the Iranian Nuclear Programme: In Search of a New Middle East Order after the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War,” focus on Turkish-Iranian relations since the end of the Cold War. It highlights the impact of the Arab uprisings on those relations. Both Kubicek’s and Pieper’s articles demonstrate that the Arab Spring movement represented a strategic opportunity for Turkey to emerge as a regional core player and to boost its weight in global politics.

Henelito A. Sevilla’s article, “The ‘Arab Spring’ and South China Sea Tensions: Analysing China’s Drive to Energy Security,” investigates the impact of the Arab Spring movement on a non-Arab power: China.

Finally, Vahit Yücesoy’s review of “Iranian and Turkish Rapprochement: Damaged by the Arab Spring?“, written by Thierry Kellner and Mohammad Reza-D.jalili, and Hamdy Bashir Mohammed Ali’s review of “Change and Opportunities in the Emerging Mediterranean,” edited by Stephen Calleya and Monika Wohlfeld, present literature covering the Arab Spring movement.

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