Analyzing Turkey And Lebanon Essay

Length: 5 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Political Science Type: Essay Paper: #69908259 Related Topics: Middle Eastern, Holistic, European Union, Monarchy
Excerpt from Essay :

Turkey and Lebanon

Lebanon and Turkey are two Middle Eastern nations in which the political system of democracy has taken hold, amid a majority of monarchies. However, in case of both nations, real tension is perceived between the following two goals of achievement: efficacious government (defined as one that is decisive, rather than paralyzed) and political inclusivity. This paper will address the extent to which the democracies of Lebanon and Turkey have managed this tension. The paper has been presented in the form of systematic sections, for structured and easy understanding.


Institutional Approaches taken by Turkey to Foster Political Inclusivity

The people who established the Republic of Turkey in 1923 considered the nation's recognition as one of the European states to be one among its formal foreign policy goals. The country's initial rationale for its association with the European Union or European Commission was gaining recognition for its status as "European." In this regard, the country doesn't differ much from the other countries of South Europe (like Spain, Portugal, and Greece), since all of these states endeavored to implement basic liberal democracy norms and principles for being included among European Union states. The Republic of Turkey's most ambitious and crucial amendment to EU norms was only possible when its membership in the EU became a closer possibility and the EU made a distinct commitment to the country, at last (Bac 17).

The key tool employed by the EU to encourage nationwide political changes in member states was its special membership conditionality, which was, however, not essentially limited to the membership aspect. From end-2002, the government of Turkey implemented seven additional important political reform packages. Removing a key obstacle to the nation's accession talks, the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government's extensive campaign on ill treatment and torture, several institutional approaches and adoption of EU death penalty standards was employed by the nation for fostering political EU inclusion (Bac 25).

Consequences for Effective Governance

Inconsistent use of EU standards and norms is the reason for the Turkish nation's struggle in the area of effective governance. The country is, perhaps, rather behind on this transformation route, because of the challenges associated with reshaping judicial practices and structures for embracing European standards, values, and norms of a sovereign, effective, and unbiased judicial system, which is critical to a functional system of democratic governance and rule of law (Tekin and Guney 87).

The Turkish Republic has continued progressing in the areas of democracy as well as statehood, in spite of the waning credibility of EU membership perspective, beginning from the year 2005. Turkish domestic reforms began long before the nation received membership perspective. They seem just as endogenously guided as in Western Balkan states and the CEEC (Central and Eastern European Countries). Lastly, EU assistance and conditionality don't merely empower moderate reform coalitions. For instance, the Albanian and Turkish governments have been selectively choosing issues out of the reform agenda of the European Union for effective governance that aid them with personal power consolidation and are in line with their respective political preferences (Borzel and Hullen 11).

Can these Two Goals Be Reconciled?

The success of Turkey in the first decade of this century can also, at least partially, be attributed to global factors. In particular, the EU has contributed significantly (arguably indispensably) in supporting democratic reform. Turkey's manifold political reforms during the early years of the 21st century corresponded with the potential chance for membership into the EU through applying political conditionality. It is a true claim that Turkey's European membership, in the short run at least, appears increasingly less likely, implying that its external motivation to reform does not remain as powerful as it was ten years ago. Nevertheless, one may contend that the government of Turkey has internalized several democratic norms to enable it achieve its "Europeanization" goal without the aid of the EU. Furthermore, it can also be said that the European Union has had in place a customs alliance since the year 1996, with Turkey. Also, Turkey is tied to Western states via membership in several Trans-Atlantic (such as North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)) and European such as COE (Conseil de l'Europe)) organizations. The country's established relationship with the West coupled with Turkish reforms' Westernizing orientation under Ataturk -- the country's first President -- and successive Presidents is a key part of its identity (Kubicek 174). Therefore, if Turkey stresses on additional reforms, reconciliation may be possible.

Value of Democracy in Societies Deeply Divided along Ethnic/Religious/Ideological Lines

Like other elements of the country's


An Islamic scholar from the nation, Gulen, feels the basic problem of Turkey and other postcolonial Muslim states are their self-serving and authoritarian "native alien" upper class and societal fragmentation along class, religious, ideological, and ethnic faultiness promoted by their corrupt governance. In fact, one among the most prominent problems faced by modern-day Turkey is segmentation and elite factionalism, which results from the fragmented societal structure of Turkey (Yavuz 245).


Institutional Approaches taken by Lebanon to Foster Political Inclusivity

The EU has adopted a novel approach after being confronted with historical transformations to its southern neighborhood. The approach attempts to offer responses that are best matched to rapid advancements in neighboring nations, including a need for initiating or continuing profound and significant reforms; instituting and consolidating healthy democracies; promoting holistic, sustainable economic growth; and managing cross-country implications. The Republic of Lebanon played a part in this analysis that brought about the EU's development of this approach. The revised ENP (European Neighborhood Policy) is grounded in mutual accountability as well as commitment to democracy, rule of law, and universal human rights. The approach attempts at: (a) providing increased support to partners engaged in respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and rule of law, as well as in the deepening of democracy; (b) supporting the creation of a holistic, sustainable economy that decreases regional and social inequalities, improves citizens' living standards, and creates jobs; and (c) establishing a stronger partnership with partner nations' civil societies and citizens ("Action Plan for EU-Lebanon Partnership" 1)

Consequences for Effective Governance

As its governance improves in effectiveness, the Lebanese government will enjoy a better opportunity to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1559 of 2004, and 1701 and 1680 of 2006. Deploying the Lebanese army in south Lebanon is vital to extending its authority over the nation's entire territorial area (Phillips 62). Sound governance prevents the likelihood of appearance of "state within state," which, as is seen in the case of Lebanon, results in conflict, factionalism, and instability (Phillips 213).

Can these Two Goals Be Reconciled?

EU engagement has increasingly been seeking conflict sensitivity prioritization, progressing beyond -- a largely post-conflict approach of recovery to addressing structural determinants of-conflict. Therefore, a renewed emphasis has ensued on supporting prevention of conflict and-peace-making devices directed at reconciliation and dialogue, promotion of electoral reconciliation and reform, and stressing civil society and participation as -- a way of promoting inclusion (Picard and Ramsbotham 10). How political leaders may be involved in reconciliation has been the greatest challenge. A number of memory advocates have slammed the whole political class, preferring to work separate from the country's 'sectarian-system' (Picard and Ramsbotham 16).

Value of Democracy in Societies Deeply Divided along Ethnic/Religious/Ideological Lines

The highly-divided society of Lebanon possesses hardly any capacity to collect taxes, and has a large "shadow" or informal economy. Absence of legitimacy of state (scant social trust) and social fragmentation challenges and their tax extraction capability, forming a major factor in improving governance. There is, for instance, a continuous, contemporary "retribalization" process in Lebanon, even with urban middle class professionals expressing their desire to reside apart with members of their respective homogenous confessional groups. Across every case, evidence exists that, in places where social groups confront a widespread feeling of danger insecurity within any political system, horizontal societal cohesion gets eroded (Cox, Orsborn, and Sisk 29).


In the long time period required to achieve democratic perfection (which continues to be imperfect in many places like India, where appeal to sectarian and caste passions is an omnipresent danger and where elites manipulate results for remaining in power), some emphasis must be placed on instilling the Enlightenment ideas that proclaim the importance of individual rights. This ultimately implies acceptance of the notion that nobody must be primarily characterized by ascribed religious, regional, or ethnic membership, or, the ascriptive qualities must be considered secondary, at the very least. This is a transformative project that pervades all generations. It took place just recently in Western, and hence, one cannot impose it on other nations. Such ideas should develop within a society, and spring from the country's own intellectuals. Meanwhile, one ought to note that progress may be achieved in the…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

"Action Plan for EU-Lebanon partnership and cooperation 2013-2015." EU-Lebanon ENP Action Plan 2013-15. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

Bac, Meltum. "Turkey's Political Reforms and the Impact of the European Union." South European Society and Politics 10.1 (2005): 16-30. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

Borzel, Tanja and Hullen Vera van. "Good Governance and Bad Neighbors? The Limits of the Transformative Power of Europe." Working Paper KFG no. 35. 2011. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

Cox, Fletcher, Orsborn, Catherine, and Sisk, Timothy. "Religion, Peace Building and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Free Countries." Research Report: University of Denver. 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

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