Aiko Takeuchi-Demirci, Contraceptive Diplomacy: Reproductive Politics and Imperial Ambitions in the United States and Japan (Stanford University Press, 2018)

A transpacific history of clashing imperial ambitions, Contraceptive Diplomacy turns to the history of the birth control movement in the United States and Japan to interpret the struggle for hegemony in the Pacific through the lens of transnational feminism. As the birth control movement spread beyond national and racial borders, it shed its radical bearings and was pressed into the service of larger ideological debates around fertility rates and overpopulation, global competitiveness, and eugenics. By the time of the Cold War, a transnational coalition for women’s sexual liberation had been handed over to imperial machinations, enabling state-sponsored population control projects that effectively disempowered women and deprived them of reproductive freedom.

Sebnem Koser Akcapar: “Diaspora Engagement in the United States: The case of India and Türkiye”

Both Türkiye and India have large diasporas int he world. By extending rights as well as extracting new obligations, these two states are increasingly integrating their diasporas into social, economic and political spheres. In the United Staes particularly, besides fostering transnational networks for development, economic growth and investment in the homeland, such initiatives have resulted in the mobilization of soft power to affect host country policies and change the negative stereotyping of Turks and Indians.

Burak Gürel: “The role of collective mobilization in the divergent performance of the rural economies of China and India (1950–2005)”

This paper argues that the divergent performance of the rural economies of China and India after 1950 was a product of the different capabilities of the Chinese and Indian governments to mobilize the labor force and financial resources of the rural population. By mobilizing unpaid labor and the financial resource  of the villagers through mediation by the collectives (before 1984) and local administrations (from 1984 to the abolition of agricultural taxation and compulsory rural labor mobilization in 2006), the Chinese state developed rural infrastructure and the quality of the labor force at a pace and geographical scope that was far beyond its limited fiscal capacity. Efforts by the Indian state to establish rural organizations with similar mobilization capabilities failed due to the effective opposition of wellentrenched political and economic interests in the countryside. Unable to mobilize the labor and financial resources of the villagers, the Indian government relied primarily on its limited fiscal resources, which produced a much slower development of physical infrastructure and labor force quality. These are the primary reasons why China’s rural economy developed much more rapidly than India’s, which contributed significantly to the divergence of their national economies in the post-1950 era. Gurel: The role of collective mobilization in the divergent performance of the rural economies of China and India

Altay Atli: “A View from Ankara: Türkiye’s Relations with China in a Changing Middle East”

The Middle East is indeed a complicated landscape, and its future in the aftermath of the popular uprisings and regime changes depends on several factors. One such factor, addressed in this essay, is the effect of the interaction between two key actors that are increasingly active in the region, both in political and economic sense. Türkiye’s bilateral relations with China are important for the Middle East because Türkiye is historically, culturally, economically, and socially part of this region, and also because through its relations with Türkiye, China can be said to be gaining a foothold in the Middle East.

Ceren Ergenc: “Can Two Ends of Asia Meet? An Overview of Contemporary Türkiye-China Relations”

China’s new Silk Road policy, titled One Belt, One Road, signals a proactive turn in China’s regional policy towards Central and West Asia. The policy has two dimensions: First, China aims to revitalize the old Silk Road exchange of goods, ideas, and people with trade, energy, and transportation projects. Second, armed with these new connections, China aims to redefine the territories the old Silk Road encompasses as a region in the contemporary international system. Türkiye, as one of the countries at the westernmost end of the historic Silk Road, and one of the target countries of China’s new Silk Road diplomacy, welcomes the increasing economic and technological exchange with China. Establishing better contacts with China fits suitably in Türkiye’s new foreign policy orientation. While the foreign policies of the two countries seem to be compatible, Turkish domestic political dynamics and public opinion hinder further engagement between the two ends of the Silk Road. The negative public opinion towards China manifests itself in the form of media coverage, protests and lobbying and, at times, it derails bilateral relations. This paper assesses the prospects for bilateral relations in the light of these developments. The paper starts with a historical analysis of Sino-Turkish relations and proceeds with various dimensions of the current relations. Then, it provides an analysis of various public opinion surveys in order to grasp the nature of the Turkish public opinion towards China, and it offers a media framing analysis in order to decipher the specific ways the image of China is  constructed in Turkish public opinion. The last part of the paper discusses the domestic political actors that have a role in the perceptions and policies toward China in Türkiye. Can two ends of Asia meet?

Altay Atlı, “Türkiye’s Relations with China and its Repercussions on the Transatlantic Relations: The Turkish Perspective,” in Sasha Toperich and Aylin Ünver-Noi (eds.) Türkiye and Transatlantic Relations, Ch.15, Washington D.C: Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University, 2017

This chapter argues that there is not necessarily a zero-sum game here in play, and while it is perfectly possible for Türkiye to develop and maintain favorable and mutually beneficial relations with both the West and the East, the two processes can even reinforce each other creating further added value for Türkiye’s relations with the rest of the world. The chapter commences with an in-depth investigation of the dynamics that drive Türkiye’s recent rapprochement with China, discuss what this means for the country’s relations with the West, and offer a number of concrete policy recommendations for both Ankara and the governments of the West to foster stronger transatlantic relations, while keeping China and the Turkish Chinese interaction at the center of the analysis. Türkiye and Transatlantic Relations: Chapter 15

Akcapar, Koser Sebnem (2018) “South Asian Refugees in India”, Society and Culture in South Asia, 4 (1): 1-9.

This photo essay captures a segment of the lives of Afghan, Rohingya, Tibetan and Hindu Pakistani refugees who found refuge in India and lays the foundation of my project on forced migration in South Asia. A fleeting glimpse in the everyday life of a refugee is what you get in these photos – a sense of community, whether they are in their homes or outside in the public space, whether they are playing or praying together in temples or masjids (photo courtesy of Raghu Rai). Article by Şebnem Köşer Akçapar – South Asian Refugees in India