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Abstract

This article explores the media environment in Turkmenistan from a comparative perspective, analyzing periods when this Central Asian nation was ruled by President Saparmurat Niyazov and his successor Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. It examines critical trends of the media system’s development since the early 1990s and onward based on the political culture established under the ruling of these two state leaders. The paper argues that media plays a primary role in building a cult of personality of Saparmurat Niyazov, which was further implemented and developed by the administration of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. A case study of the Turkmen TV channels, in particular, is focused on styles of presenting materials, the language and propaganda techniques (clichés, slogans, labels), used to promote the cult of personality. The article analyzes the behaviors of the constructors and supporters of the cult of personality using the concept of the political culture in authoritarianism. Thus, the paper outlines that with some moderate dynamics in the media system, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov continues to strictly control media – the policies established by his predecessor, who used methods of total control and censorship of all media outlets in the country.

Abstract

This paper focuses on the case analysis of the memorial to the victims of state terror – the Wall of Grief (Stena skorbi) – which was unveiled on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the November 7, 1917, coup d’état. Using this example, we have attempted to elaborate a structure for a more complex analysis of the memory of past regimes’ manifestation and to create a methodological base for their comparison. We have based our research on the discourse theory by the so-called Essex School, the social semiotics by Kress, and the procedures of the critical discourse analysis. The procedure that we have considered relevant consists of the following: (a) description of the social context in which the memorial was manifested as a piece of evidence; (b) semiotic analysis of the memorial artifact; (c) analysis of verbal practices, as well as written and spoken texts that “explained” the memorial; and (d) analysis of nonverbal practices, namely, rituals. On the basis of our case study, we have come to the conclusion that when carrying out a semiotic analysis and the analysis of verbal and nonverbal practices in the case of the Russian public discourse, it is especially relevant to pay attention not only to widening vs. narrowing of the chronological framework, generalization vs. concretization, and specification of the traumatic experience but also to the question of framing of the memorial. In regard to the semiotic analysis, the extent of indexicality is considered to be very important in the sense of the bodily connection with an element of the commemorated event that bestows “truthfulness” and authenticity on the memorial. We assume that particularly present-day Russia, where explicit attempts to reinterpret the history of the authoritarian communist state and attempts to instrumentalize the totalitarian period according to the vector of the current political direction may be seen, is a relevant object of this kind of research.

Abstract

Ricoeur’s philosophy of religion as well as his suggestion that we may consider interreligious dialogue as a specific form of linguistic hospitality has inspired many to think through the challenges of interfaith learning in a post-secular age. I am one of those scholars who have found Ricoeur a particularly helpful conversation partner as I sought to create a nonviolent and transformative space of encounter in my interreligious classroom. In this article, I elaborate on how my lived experiences as an interreligious educator have made me wonder if Ricoeur’s philosophy of religion and his plea for interreligious hospitality are not actually limiting the critical potential of interreligious education. Ricoeur’s interreligious hermeneutics strongly resonates with a modern (Protestant) understanding of religion and its implicit, normative distinction between good (mature) and bad (immature) religiosity, which to this day belongs to the sociopolitical imagination of the majority in most Western European countries (this is certainly true for the Netherlands). It has been my pedagogical experience that this distinction between good and bad religion contributes to and reinforces testimonial and hermeneutical injustice in my classroom, which results in the marginalization of some of my students, especially those whose religious practice does not fit the understanding of what religion ought to be.

Abstract

Focusing on the topic of public dialogue between religiously theistic, quasi-religious, atheistic, and non-religious citizens in a liberal democracy, this paper develops a practical strategy of dialogue in the wake of Rawls’ Political Liberalism (1993). To set the stage for a rereading of Rawls, the chief points of liberal citizenship are outlined in critical dialogue with recent literature that urges citizens to abandon liberalism. While metaphysics, religious norms, and moral visions of the good are not bracketed by liberal regimes, it is true that liberal states nonetheless attempt to remain neutral in matters of religion and worship. This may yield many worldviews incommensurable with each other. Liberalism, then, as a political order, involves a pluralism of worldviews, some religious and some not. A hermeneutics of public dialogue can enable citizens to be reconciled with, rather than escape, the pluralism born of liberalism. I suggest the point of departure for such a hermeneutic lies in the vocabulary of Rawlsian “overlapping consensus.” Reconsidered in this light, overlapping consensus can open up the prospect of dialogue among citizenry in the public square in a manner that facilitates agreement and cooperation. This is due to the fact that overlapping consensus contrasts with the idea that when one converges on a policy, one must always do so for the same reason or theoretical justification. The paper concludes with the structure of a four-way dialogue that may result from the application of this hermeneutic.

Abstract

Ethnicity in the historical process has been the main subject of political, economic, military and geographical change. Ethnicity, which was identical to the identity of tribes and clans before empires formed the basis of different phenomena in multi-ethnic national states. In this context, terms such as nation, race, ethnic minority, national minority etc. are used synonymously. The international structure formed aft er the collapse of the bipolar system. Concepts such as ethnic, ethnic group, minority, national minority, ethnic minority, nation, nation-state, ethnic-state, ethnic problems, ethnic discrimination have been brought to the agenda again and these concepts’ qualities and meanings have started to be reconsidered by scholars.

Ethnic issues not only affect internal politics but also external and international politics for countries which have ethnic groups in their society. Therefore, these effects are causing the questioning of the system of national-states which underlies the international system.

The Basque problem is characterised by the nationalist movements of the Basque society which is struggling for independence in Spain from the past to the present (the Basque society has been struggling for independence in Spain since 17th century) or who are working hard to achieve their special status. From the demands for privileges of the Basque separatist movement in Spain, the Basque problem is of great importance for the current Spanish political system.

In order to solve the problem, it is necessary to examine the mutual demands and solutions of Spain and the Basque Country. From this point of view, the Spanish Administration should be directed towards moderate policies and take into account the conditions of the region. The constitution must also guarantee individual and cultural rights. This study aims to observe the problems between the Basques and Spain historically and to understand the Basque ethnic phenomenon better.

Abstract

Though the term “policy” has already been discussed extensively before, it appears to be in need of a critical review in meaning and context. In this essay, the criticism stems from the term “policy of the law”, which was introduced into the political science literature over 120 years ago by Leon Petrażycki, the outstanding creator of psychological theory of the law and the only world-known Polish lawyer. The term itself is false and incorrect as it’s equal to the term “policy of the policy”. Law is a political phenomenon cocreating policy. In addition, the concept of policy of the law is characterised by idealism bordering on naivety. Because of the place of L. Petrażycki in Polish tradition of the theory of law, references to his concept of policy of the law are made constantly in an attempt to apply this concept in scientific and practical considerations. It is time to leave it to the domain of history of legal theory.

Another criticism was brought about by the title of the third chapter of Polish Energy Law Act — “Energy Policy”. This entire act and a number of other legal acts regulating the acquisition of energy sources and energy management comprise energy policy. The energy policy also includes various types of programs, actions and decisions of the participants of energy policy. The criticism of the incompetent use of the term “energy policy” is an opportunity to stress the role of policy in the process of meeting human needs.

Thirdly, the term “policy” is determined by discussing an element of its structure: political thought. The essay presents the role of political thought in relation to economy, culture, independence, systems and other domains of human activity. The understanding of political thought as a reflection on policy or views on policy is questioned here. Political thought is not a reflection about the policy. Instead, political thought is a political decision which cocreates policy. It is a postulative decision resulting from scientific or common reflection on policy.

Abstract

This study examines how populist politicians made sense of the issue of fake news. They generally consider fake news as a valuable propaganda tool for their political interests. According to the Reuters Digital News Report in 2018, Turkey ranks first on the list of countries where people complain about completely made-up stories. The study researched how fake news is helping facilitate the rise of populism in Turkey. There is plenty of fake news aired by pro-government media. Therefore, the Turkish government is emerging as a suspect behind the fake news cycle. The fact is that most of the fake news is published for the benefit of the government. Research shows that, paradoxically, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is regarded as one of the most important populist politicians in the world. These two different indicators can be valuable data in revealing the relationship between fake news and populist politicians. The aim of this paper is to consider the significance of this apparent relationship between fake news and President Erdogan. In order to do this, a critical discourse analysis method was based on the fake news about the pastor Brunson case, because Turkish readers came across a huge amount of fake news regarding his case in pro-government media.