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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Talking Turkey: Some Personal (and Historical) Perspectives on Turkish Politics and Society
John Grabowski, Ph.D. - Krieger-Mueller Associate Professor in Applied History at Case Western Reserve University and Senior Vice President for Research and Publications at the Western Reserve Historical Society
Friday March 27, 2015
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

For the past decade, Turkish politics have been dominated by Recep Erdoğan, who became Prime Minister in 2002 and the country's first elected President this past August. He has asserted civilian authority over the military, while increasing the role of Islam in the state and society. Recent years have seen increasing charges that Erdoğan seeks to become a new "Sultan," concentrating power in his own hands. The Taksim Square protests of plans to redevelop Gezi Park in Istanbul and their repression; a new law that could be used to punish medical workers for treating protesters; pressure on journalists who report on Kurdish rebels or on corruption all are cited as concerns. He has split with his party co-founder Abdullah Gul, and his government has issued an arrest warrant for the preacher Fethullah Gülen, a longtime ally now accused of leading a criminal organization. Yet Turkey has also had much better economic performance than most of Europe, and Erdoğan was elected with 52% of the vote. What, then, are the key sources of both conflict and his support, and what are the prospects for Turkish politics?

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Professor John J. Grabowski’s interests and research span the fields of public and academic history. He specializes in the areas of immigration and ethnicity; local (Cleveland) urban history;and public history, particularly the fields of archives and museums. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of History at CWRU and the Western Reserve Historical Society, where he serves as Historian and Senior Vice President for Research and Publications. In addition to teaching at the department he also oversees the World Wide Web edition of The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History/Dictionary of Cleveland Biography, a joint project of Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

April 3: Origins and Prospects of the Islamic State. With Karl C. Kaltenthaler, Professor of Political Science, University of Akron.

April 10:
Obama's White House and Management Style: A Recipe for Success or Failure? With David B. Cohen, Professor of Political Science, University of Akron.

April 17: Is It Time For A New U.S. “Grand Strategy?” With Patrick C. Doherty, Co-director, Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University.

April 24: Avoiding Vaccinations: Reasons and Consequences With Irena L. Kenneley, Associate Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.
March 23, 2015

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

The Democracy Establishment

A discussion with Sarah Bush Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Political Science, Temple University, Tuesday March 31, 2015, 12:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Tinkham Veale University Center, Senior Classroom A, Case Western Reserve University, 11308 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. Sponsored by the generosity of Ms. Eloise Briskin and the Center for Policy Studies.

When U.S. government democracy assistance was launched three decades ago, it fostered real change, as in Poland and Chile, by supporting dissidents. Since then, democracy promotion has grown into an international industry. But assistance from both the U.S. and other donors normally finances programs that are not in the least threatening to authoritarian regimes. Instead, it finances technical assistance programs that considerable evidence suggests are ineffective. Or, it focuses on quantitative outcomes, such as the number of women in parliament, on which it is easy to show success but that do not threaten autocratic governments. Professor Bush argues that these results fit the incentives for organizations that must have permission to operate in countries in order to be funded, and that must compete with each other for donor support. In short, the rise of a "Democracy Establishment" has "tamed" democracy promotion.

Professor Bush's talk will be based on the research for her book with Cambridge University Press, The Taming of Democracy Assistance: Why Democracy Promotion Does Not Confront Dictators, scheduled for release on the day of her talk at CWRU. Dr. Bush earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from Princeton University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the International Security Program of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

March 2015







































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