Issue 11 – Struggle for Hegemony in International Relations

Editor: Beycan Mura

The Distinctive Features of US Imperialism
Haluk Gerger

This article, after granting that the US as an aggressive and self-centered country is not essentially different from its predecessors, argues that it is still different from some respects. The first difference is that the US ideologically positions itself into a privileged position above others so as to turn itself into the God’s messenger on earth. The other differences can be summarized as follows: Unlike its predecessors, the US follows a hegemonic strategy that is not directed towards conserving the status quo. Not only does it produce its domination through local collaborationist elements but it can also be an organic component of the local order. İt has an apparatus that constantly creates domestic and international enemies and thereby generate violence and militarization. Finally, the US continuously increases its hegemonic capacity despite ali the economic and social problems it undergoes.

Keywords: imperialism, United States, hegemony, militarism, international relations.

Rosa Luxemburg’s Critical Realism and the Foundations of International Politics
Doğan Göçmen

This paper explores the foundational aspects of Luxemburg’s theory of international Politics. She develops a theoretical approach to international politics, which may be described as a critical realist one. Luxemburg works out her approach to international politics in a discussion with and in a criticism of three competing schools: social contract theories, moralist approach and realism. Her main argument against these schools is that their principles do not and cannot serve as a foundation of international politics. With regard to social contract theories as operationalized in international politics: according to Luxemburg the fundamental assumptions of social contract theories cannot be the basis of international politics because their principles such as mutual equality and recognition do not have any validity in the age of capitalism. Luxemburg rejects laying down these principles to international politics not because she rejects accepting these principles from a normative point of view. On the contrary, she is convinced that they should be the sole foundation of international relations. They cannot, however, be the foundation of international politics in our age capitalism as it is taken for granted in social contract theories. Luxemburg formulates almost the same critique with regard to the moralist approach. İn order that morals can be said to serve as a foundation of international politics its fundamental premises must be actuality. That is to suggest that before morals can be said to serve the foundation of international relations there must be valid a moral system throughout the world with some sort of binding character. However, in the capitalist-imperialist age because of dominant social class relations there exist many diverse moral values; thus, morals cannot serve as the foundation of international relations. Luxemburg concludes that the principle that serves as a foundation of international politics in the age of capitalism is power relations. After having thus criticised social contract theories and moralist approach from a realist point of view Luxemburg turns to the criticism of realist approach. She differentiates between official positivist and reformist positivist realism. Unlike the latter, the former justifies the existing principle of power relations without any regard to their consequences. Unlike the official positivist realism, and without questioning its very logic, the reformist positivist realism formulates a reformist critique of power relations from a moralist point of view. However, according to Luxemburg, any critique of power relations ends up in some sort of positivism if it does not question their foundations. After having developed her primary approach to international relations, Luxemburg turns to the criticism of imperialism. In this context I refer also to Luxemburg’s critique of a certain type of a theory of international politics, which may be seen from our point of view as a critique of new institutionalism. Luxemburg’s criticism of imperialism, as I argue in this paper, shows how morality, that is, the principles of mutual equality and recognition is possible.

Keywords: international politics, international relations, realism, imperialism, Rosa Luxemburg.

Tasting an Awful Theory Cocktail: The “Empire” Debate in Germany
Emre Arslan

The popular and controversial book by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire, has given way to lengthy debates in Germany as well. An investigation into the perception of a well-discussed book in a certain country provides us with two kinds of information: Not only do we obtain more insights about this theoretical product, but w e also learn about the nature of the political culture in that particular country. With regard to how this boo has been perceived in Germany, it is possible to make the following observation: Although those who euphorically praised the book were dominant, its theoretical drawbacks and shortcomings were consistently emphasized not only by its critics but also by its supporters. In my opinion, there are at least three reasons for this peculiar way in which the book was discussed in Germany: 1) German academic and political circles are used to very strong and consistent theoretical traditions and therefore are more “immune” to and skeptical towards theoretically inconsistent works. 2) The petty-bourgeois
character is clearly dominant among radical leftists in Germany. 3) Because of the unique historical experiences and of imperialism of their own country, German leftists traditionally hesitate to criticize the USA.

Keywords: empire, imperialism, German left, Antonio Negri, social theory.

International Law Theories in the Soviet Doctrine
Ateş Uslu

The article reviews various international law theories elaborated in the Soviet doctrine between 1917 and 1985. three periods are distinguished in the development of Soviet theories of international law. İn the first phase (1917-1930), Korovin and authors subscribing to the “Commodity Exchange School” theorized within a perspectlve of world revolution. The second phase (1930-1938) is characterised by Korovin’s self critique and by the works of Pashukanis, who, parallel to the political implications of Stalin period, re-introduced the State as the principal subject of internationai law. İn the i ast period (1938-1985), the Soviet theory of International law was canonized and jurists such as Vychinsky and Krylov elaborated their theories according to the political positıons of USSR in the Cold War. The Principal postulates of this official theory were reproduced in the Detente period.

Keywords: international law, Soviet Union, Commodity Exchange School, Cold War, detente period.

The War of Demographics in the Middle East: The Refugee Problem and Israel’s Population Dilemma
Hakan Güneş

This article focuses on an important aspect of the Palestinian question, the demographic war between Israil and the Palestinians. It covers both sides’ attitude towards the demographic question. Israel in its search to ensure the survival of its characteristic as a Jewish State, tries to win the demographic war through promoting Jewish immigration and increasing Jewish birth rate, and pressuring the Arab population. While there is disagreement between the Israeli right and left over these measures and over the future of occupied territories, they uniformly reject the right of return of Palestinian refugees in that this would mean an utter defeat in the demographic war. With Israel committed to winning this war and the Palestinians clinging to the right of return, no viable solution to the conflict seem s possible without a change in the ethnic-religious character of the State of Israel.

Keywords: Israel, Palestine, Palestinian refugees, demography, international relations.

Constructing a Nation-State in Kazakhstan
Y . Emre Gürbüz

The purpose of this articie is to summarize the emergence and development of Kazaks as a people and a modern nation. The period studied in this article covers the long process from the post-Chinggisid period in Eurasia, where the new peoples have emerged including Kazakhs, until the recent times, when Kazak nation is being formed under an independent nation-state relying on historical heritage. İt is illustrated that identities are acquired through the habitus, which affects perceptions of both outsiders and insiders. As the habitus is in a continuous change, perceptions, meanings, terms and identities are also continuously reconstructed. Consequently, national identities are also continuously reconstructed, and they are modern constructs as we perceive them today. Identities and term s need to be understood within their own context by demystifying the later constructs and with a very careful analysis of contemporary outsider views, which impose distorted, subjective “truths” originating from a different time or place.

Keywords: Kazakh nationalism, Kazakhstan, Eurasia, habitus, nation state.

Proto-industrialization: A Contribution to the History of Industrialization
İşaya Üşür

This article deals with the theory of proto-industrialism . Two versions of the theory of proto-industrialism – the one represented by Mendels and the one represented by Kriedte, Medick, Schlombohm – are explained and analyzed. It is argued that although there are some common points between these versions, there are important differences in term s of their terminologv. theoretical motivations and emphases on the same variables. Serious criticism has been levelled against the proto-industrialization theory, however, it, bringing perspectives from diverse disciplines together, provides new horizons for our understanding of the process of industrialization.

Keywords: proto-industrialization, industrialization, European history, Frank Mendels, Peter Kriedte.