Far from being necessarily divisive, recognition is integral to the construction of effective global movements against injustice. I highlight three different sites at which the politics of recognition has important roles to play: within progressive movements, between progressive movements and by progressive movements on the ‘global stage’. At these different sites, I argue, recognition politics serves both integrative and performative functions. By identifying the sites at which recognition can contribute to global struggles and explaining the functions recognition serves, I add to our understanding of ‘regimes of recognition’, offer a new perspective on the nature of and prerequisites for the recognition encounter, and illuminate the importance as well as the limitations of political institutions like the World Social Forum and campaigns like the anti-War protests of 2003.
In Charles Taylor’s seminal writings, the revival of the nineteenth-century concept of ‘recognition’ was closely connected to the birth of ‘multiculturalism’ as a public policy and normative idea. This connection has unfortunately been dissolved by continental political philosophers such as Jürgen Habermas and Axel Honneth who reject all group-based understandings of recognition which cannot be reduced to aspirations for individual freedom within a given state or society. Yet this individualist bias has proven to be rather unproductive in the field of international political theory. I therefore suggest returning to and clarifying the original conceptual connection between recognition and multiculturalism as a way of rethinking the relations between cultural groups, nations and states from a normative point of view. My argument in this chapter is about the question whether Taylor’s idea can be elaborated with respect to the world community of states and societies.
This chapter articulates the concept of recognition beyond its anthropocentric core. The prevailing conceptualization of recognition in International Relations (IR) relates to the collective endowment with a legal status as a legitimate participant on the world stage. This understanding draws on normative political theories of justice premised on a binary distinction between acts of acknowledgement (‘responsive model of recognition’) and acts of declaration (‘generative model of recognition’). Thus, the mutual collective recognition of and by states becomes the mechanism through which one’s participation in the international domain is validated. However, this conceptualization seems to offer little of value when it comes to IR’s recent strive to offer an inclusive account not just for the human, but also for the non-human interactions in global life. At stake is not simply the need to extend the concept of recognition beyond the agency of the state, but rather the requirement for its radical reframing ‘beyond-the-human’ into a non-anthropocentric notion. This chapter considers critically the potential for a more inclusive and encompassing understanding of recognition embedded in the reciprocity principle. The suggestion is that if the study of IR is to address meaningfully the challenges of climate change through the conceptualization of recognition, it will have to confront and reframe its anthropocentric premise.
Cosmopolitan education pursues global justice through the cultivation of global citizens, fostering understanding and respect through contact with alternative beliefs and customs. However, the critical engagement it promotes tends too much towards the rationalist prescription of more, and better, knowledge of the other and fails to interrogate the roots of misrecognition. The form of recognition employed by this approach is an impoverished conception that fails to capture the ongoing struggle, ambiguity, and recognition offers a provocative challenge to cosmopolitan education. Where cosmopolitan education pursues emancipation through the positive production of cosmopolitan citizens, an agonistic approach advocates ‘an education towards critical self-reflection’. This unsettling pedagogy offers a radical challenge to mainstream and cosmopolitan education and, more broadly, to dominant liberal capitalist norms. It cannot co-exist with societal desires for certainty, self-preservation, and invulnerability; indeed, one its foremost ‘tasks’ is to challenge the deeply rooted ignorance and indifference that pervade modern society and that spring from a fear of recognition. In so doing, this approach promotes a counter-cultural embrace of ambiguity, vulnerability, and love.
Chapter 4, first, explores the goals of Turkish nationalist foreign policy; and then explains how the Wilsonian principal of ‘self-determination’ was interpreted in Eastern affairs at the end of Ottoman and Russian Empires as non-European powers. It highlights why other social movements – i.e. the rise of local congresses in Anatolia as a reaction to the Allied and the Bab-i Ali’s (Sublime Porte) plans – were crucial in applying the principle of self-determination to the emergence of the Turkish nation that is generally ignored in the Western literature on Turkey. The last section focuses particularly on the formulation of a nationalist foreign policy towards the Bolsheviks in the expectation of resolving the territorial clashes between Turkish and Armenian nationalist claims over their perceived historic homelands, and establishing an area of security in Turkey’s eastern borders.
Chapter 1 explains why a new interdisciplinary theoretical framework is necessary in order to explain the complexity of state transformation and foreign policy making when understanding a Muslim country’s engagement with European modernity. This is the first work within the literature of FPA that seeks to explain the role of foreign policy in modern nation-state building in relation to the candidate term ‘transitional’ states. After identifying the three pillars of the new framework - the study of foreign policy, transition to modernity and the ideology of nationalism – it explains why FPA has become the departing point of an interdisciplinary approach. The chapter then identifies the five main dimensions of foreign policy as a consequence of the transition to modernity in non-European societies.
Chapter 3 explains why the ideology of nationalism has become the third pillar of the new theoretical framework to complete an interdisciplinary approach to foreign policy of transitional states. One of the main aims of this chapter is to explore the connection between modernity and nationalism in order to combine this with the analysis of Turkish foreign policy. Afterwards, the second aim is to understand the emergence of Turkish nationalism as an unintended outcome of modernity and its impacts on Turkish foreign policy towards the East.
Chapter 5 continues challenging commonly accepted interpretations of Turkish politics in Western literature by questioning the rules of new diplomacy and war in the East between Ankara and Moscow. Based on evidence from historical documents and memoirs of key decision-makers, the findings of this chapter draw attention to a widely neglected aspect of Turkish nation-building: the conditions of a ‘tacit agreement’ between the new regimes in Ankara and Moscow against the West at the expense of small states in the East. It explains how Turkish nationalists skilfully engaged with war against Armenia and played the rules of diplomacy in Eastern affairs.
The final chapter focuses on the recognition of the modern Turkish nation-state by international society. It explores the extent to which Turkish-Bolshevik relations were based on their common struggle against Western imperialism. After analysing the causes of the historic rapprochement between the newly established governments of Ankara and Moscow, it particularly engages with the challenges of modern statehood – sovereignty, legitimacy, territoriality and national identity – during the emergence of modern Turkey as the first example of a modern state in a Muslim country.