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Italian Political Science Association, SISP (Società Italiana di Scienza Politica) XVIII SISP ANNUAL CONFERENCE University of Perugia, Department of Political Science and University for Foreigners of Perugia, Department of Human and Social Studies, 11 – 13 September 2014 :

Focus on Turkey

During the last decade, there has been from scholars and experts an increasing interest in Turkey's role in world politics: the new course of its policy has allowed the country, from an endogenous and exogenous point of view, to repose itself strategically, economically and culturally, regaining international centrality through an active policy in different area of its neighborhood, inherited by the Ottoman Empire's geographic extension. Until when the democratic anchorage attempt with European Union, functional to the membership, has lost its attractiveness, Ankara seems to be now interested in the research of a new space of representation: it had tried in fact to open ancient and new commercial routes within the regions for which it acts as a "bridge", through the Silk Road and the Black Sea, even arriving in Africa as the ambassador of a moderate Islam. Meanwhile, Turkey has a strong position in the world economy, facing the 2008 crisis, thanks in particular to the reforms in domestic policy after 2001 collapse. From the other hand, Ankara is now at a turning point, both from an internal as a foreign point of view: it has to face with a continuous political evolution in Middle East, with the deep crisis inside the European Union, but also with the United Stated which has in part abandoned their position in front of a more dynamic Russia, particularly in Caucasus and in the Arab world. Moreover, Syrian revolution threats to become a "powder keg", drawing back Iran, while protests in Gezi Park has triggered doubts about the quality of Turkey's democracy, posing the interrogative for the Arab states facing with the so-called Arab Springs about the validity to emulate the Turkish model.
This conference aims to provide a broad framework for scholars, experts of Turkish politics and of the regions influenced by its foreign policy. The overarching objective of this section is not only to map the challenges to the Turkish order, but also to understand the origin potentiality of these challenges. The themes of the section will include, but are not limited to: the process of democratization; Turkish foreign and domestic policy; Turkey in the world economy; Turkish (de)Europeanization; regional and transnational actors involved; religious factors and secularism; Syrian revolution and the aftermath of the Arab Springs.

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