“It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar.”

― Edward W. Said

"A developing country that wants to develop its economy must first of all keep natural resources in its own hands."
- Deng Xiaoping

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Understanding American Society and Politics - Basic Movies

The Godfather Legacy 

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

The Color Purple (1985) Official Trailer - Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg

The Firm (1993)

American Beauty (1999)

Forrest Gump ( 1994)

 Taxi Driver (1976)

 Citizen Kane (1941)

American History X (1998)

New Editorial Board: Sociology of Islam 2017

Dear all,

Greetings from Istanbul. We have a new editorial board for the Sociology of Islam, which you will see below. 2017 will be our 4th year and we appreciate your support and activity as part of the mailing list. So far, we have published 16 issues including three ‘special issues.’ We are happy to accept articles related with the Sociology of Islam and Sociology of the Middle East which are related directly with the topics of inequality, social movements, political sociology, religion, nationalism and ethnicity, modernity, work and labor, criminology, aging, environment, health, deviance, sexuality, education, and social change. For your submission, we accept articles from 8000–12.000 words in length. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me, Gary Wood or other members of the editorial board. Additionally, we are open to special issue proposals, please email your ideas to us!

You can submit your article to the following website: http://www.editorialmanager.com/SOI/default.aspx 
or send it to us for a prescreening process.  

Please remember that this is not a religious studies journal! All submissions must be related with the themes of Sociology of Islam and the Middle East.     

Our special issues can be found at the following website pages:

The Gülen Movement (Volume 1, Issue 3-4, 2014 )
A Guest editor: Joshua Hendrick, Loyola University of Maryland.

Contemporary Social Movements in the Middle East and Beyond, 2014 (Volume 2,  Issue 3-4, 2014)
A Guest editor: Mojtaba Mahdavi, University of Alberta

China, Islam and Middle East (Volume 4, Issue 1-2, 2016)
A Guest editor: Tugrul Keskin, Shanghai University


Editorial Board
Gary Wood, Virginia Tech
Tugrul Keskin, Shanghai University

Assistant Editors
Sara Swetzoff, Howard University
Michael McCall, American University of Beirut

Associate Editors
Rachel Rinaldo, University of Colorado-Boulder
Joshua Hendrick, Loyola University of Maryland
Isabel David, University of Lisbon
Mark Gould, Haverford College
Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut
Sean Foley, Middle Tennessee State University

Book Reviews Editor:
Joshua Hendrick, Loyola University of Maryland

International Advisory Board
Amr Osman, Qatar University
Armando Salvatore, McGill University
Asef Bayat, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Babak Rahimi, UC San Diego
Bryan S. Turner, City University of New York
Charles Kurzman, UNC Chapel Hill
Cihan Tugal, UC Berkeley
Ed Webb, Dickinson College
Geoffrey F. Gresh, National Defense University
Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University
Husnul Amin, International Islamic University, Islamabad
Khalil al-Anani, Johns Hopkins University
Jocelyne Cesari, Harvard University
Marc Andrew, Yale University
Mariusz Turowski, The University of Wroclaw
Mojtaba Mahdavi, University of Alberta
Mohammedmoin Sadeq, Qatar University
Mohammed A. Bamyeh, University of Pittsburgh
Najm al-Din Yousefi, California State University, Chico
Shah Mahmoud Hanifi, James Madison University
Ted Fuller, Virginia Tech
Tim Luke, Virginia Tech
Zakia Salime, Rutgers University

Indexing and Abstracting
Index Islamicus

Friday, January 27, 2017

BEST MOVIES - 2016-17

I Am Not Your Negro - Official Trail

 A United Kingdom Official International Trailer 1 (2016) - David Oyelowo Movie

Personal Shopper Official Trailer - Teaser (2017) - Kristen Stewart

Lovesong Official Trailer 1 (2017) - Jena Malone Movie

 FREE FIRE Movie TRAILER (Brie Larson, Cilian Murphy - Action, 2017)

 THE DISCOVERY Trailer (2017) Rooney Mara, Netflix Movie Drama

 COLOSSAL Trailer (2016) Anne Hathaway Monster Movie

 A QUIET PASSION Trailer | Festival 2016

The Dinner - Trailer

Thursday, January 26, 2017

2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report

2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report

James G . Mc Gann
University of Pennsylvania  

JANUARY 26, 2017

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania conducts research on the r ole policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. Often referred to as the “ think tanks’ think tank,” TTCSP examines the evolving role and character of public policy research organizations. Over the last 26 years, the TTCSP has developed and led a series of global initiatives that have helped bridge the gap between knowledge and policy in critical policy areas such as international peace and security, globalization and governance, international economics, environmental issues, information and society, poverty alleviation, and healthcare and global health. These international collaborative efforts are designed to establish regional and international networks of policy institutes and communities that improve policy making while strengthening democratic institutions and civil societies around the world.
The TTCSP works with leading scholars and practitioners from think t anks and universities in a variety of collaborative efforts and programs, and produces the annual Global Go To Think T ank Index that ranks the world’s leading think t anks in a variety of categories. This is achieved with the he lp of a panel of over 1,900 peer institutions and experts from the pr int and electronic me dia, academia, public and private donor institutions, and governments around the w orld. We have strong relationships with leading think t anks around the world, and our a nnual Think T ank Index is used by academics, journalists, donor s and the pub lic to locate and connect with the le ading centers of public policy research around the w orld. Our goal is to increase the profile and performance of think t anks and raise the pub lic awareness of the impor tant role think t anks play in governments and civil societies around the glo be.
Since its inception in 1989, the TTCSP has focused on collecting data and conducting research on think tank trends and the role think tanks play as civil society actors in the policymaking process. In 2007, the TTCSP developed and launched the global index of think tanks, which is designed to identify and recognize centers of excellence in all the major areas of public policy research and in every region of the world. To date TTCSP has provided technical assistance and capacity building programs in 81 countries. We are now working to create regional and global networks of think tanks in an effort to facilitate collaboration and the production of a modest yet achievable set of global public goods. Our goal is to create lasting institutional and state-level partnerships by engaging and mobilizing think tanks that have demonstrated their ability to produce high quality policy research and shape popular and elite opinion and actions for public good.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Trump’s Pandora Box - Tugrul Keskin

Trump’s Pandora Box:
Unbalanced Relations Between US and Turkey in the Context of China

Tugrul Keskin
Associate Professor
Shanghai University

Most of the scholars who focus on the strategic alliance between the US and Turkey might not able to understand the unbalanced NATO-oriented historical trend, and how this relationship has evolved over the time. Indeed, they perceive the very complex relationship as an equal one. In fact, in order to grasp current dynamics and changes in the Turkey relationship with the US and its foreign policy objectives, we must understand a brief history of their multifaceted relationship. The strategic alliance between the US and Turkey is very similar to the US relationship with Israel, and it is just as unique; these dynamics have been embedded within the Turkish state structure. This is not the case with Turkish relations with other countries in the world. In this paper, I will analyze this complex and trilateral relationship between Turkey and US in the context of recent Turkish rapprochement to SCO and China.


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2.     Trump marks the end of America as world’s ‘indispensable nation.’ Robert Kagan. Financial Times - November 20, 2016.

3.     All the President-Elect's Generals: Why has Trump shown such eagerness to select former military brass for his Cabinet? David A. Graham. The Atlantic – December 9, 2016.

4.     The Obama Doctrine: The U.S. president talks through his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world. Jeffrey Goldberg. The Atlantic – April, 2016

5.     The New US Administration and the Future of the Middle East. Rome MED 2016 – Mediterranean Dialogues.

6.     ‘Never Trump’ Becomes ‘Maybe Trump’ in Foreign Policy Sphere  By Mark Mazzetti, Helene Cooper and Eric Schmittnov. The New York Times - 10, 2016.

7.     ‘Kurdistan a reality, deserves US support’ Karzan Sulaivany. Kurdistan24 - Wednesday, 30 November 2016.

8.     Trump’ın ekibindeki kritik isimden mesajlar: Kürtler ABD için tampon güç. CANSU ÇAMLIBEL. Hurriyet - 04 Aralık 2016

9.     Pence and Kurdish president discuss support for Kurds, ISIS war. Rudaw – December 4, 2016. http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/031220163

10.  Washington'ın yeni sert adamları. Tolga TANIŞ. Hurriyet. 20.11.2016.

11.  Trump Speaks With Taiwan’s Leader, an Affront to China By MARK LANDLER and DAVID E. SANGER. The New York Times - DEC. 2, 2016.

12.  İşte Trump’ın kabinesi: Generaller ve milyarderler. Tolga TANIŞ. / WASHINGTON 03 Aralık 2016.

13.  Donald Trump Is Choosing His Cabinet. Here’s the Latest List. THE NEW YORK TIMES - DEC. 10, 2016 http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/politics/donald-trump-administration.html?_r=0

14.  Trump's Big Test in the Middle East. Vali Nasr. The Atlantic - Nov 25, 2016.

15.  Michael Flynn, a Top Trump Adviser, Ties China and North Korea to Jihadists  Sinosphere  By EDWARD WONG. The New York Times - NOV. 30, 2016.

16.  The Republican Congress Is Filling Trump's Cabinet. Russell Berman. The Atlantic - Nov 30, 2016.

17.  Ross Brings to Commerce Resume Spanning Profit and Politics. David Carey. Bloomberg - November 30, 2016.

18.  Trump considers retired General Petraeus as top diplomat: Bloomberg. Reuters - Mon Nov 28, 2016.

19.  Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: How Will Donald Trump Influence The Middle East Cold War? By Tom O'Connor. International Business Times - 11/24/16.

20.  Donald Trump on Foreign Policy. On the Issues.

21.  Donald Trump's Middle East Policy Is a Disaster. Vijay Prashad. AlterNet - November 15, 2016.

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23.  Where They Stand on Foreign Policy Issues. Damian Paletta. The Wall Street Journal.  

24.  Donald Trump’s Choices in the Middle East. Shlomo Ben-Ami. Project-Syndicate - NOV 21, 2016.

25.  Trump says Mideast would pay for US troops. CNBC - Sunday, 16 Aug 2015.

26.  Trump and the Middle East: What he could do with Iran, Israel, Syria. James Reinl. Middel East Eye - November 16, 2016.

27.  Trump's Big Test in the Middle East. Vali Nasr. The Atlantic - November 25, 2016.

28.  Can Donald Trump solve the Middle East's many crises? CNN - November 27, 2016.

29.  The Middle East has some questions for Donald Trump. David Ignatius. The Washington Post - November 22, 2016.

30.  Here's what might happen in the Middle East under a Trump presidency. Laura King. Los Angeles Times - November 18, 2016. 

31.  Six Reasons Trump Would Be Disaster for U.S. Jews, Israel and the Middle East. Alexander Griffing. Hareetz - Nov 09, 2016.

32.  Rex Tillerson, Exxon Chief, Is Expected to Be Pick for Secretary of State  By DAVID E. SANGER, MAGGIE HABERMAN and CLIFFORD KRAUSS. The New York Times - DEC. 10, 2016.  

33.  Donald Trump on U.S. intervention in the Middle East. Bradley Klapper and Lolita C. Baldor. Associated Press - August 15, 2016.

34.  Trump in the White House: The man advising him on the Middle East. Arwa Ibrahim. Middle East Eye - Friday 11 November 2016.

35.  The Turkish-Russian Rapprochement: How Real? How Durable? F. Stephen Larrabee. RAND, December 1, 2016.

36.  The Transatlantic Relationship Was Already Dying. David Wemer. RealClearWorld - November 30, 2016.

37.  Change in the Middle East: Implications for U.S. Policy. Christopher M. Blanchard (Coordinator Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs), Alexis Arieff (Analyst in African Affairs), Zoe Danon (Section Research Manager), Kenneth Katzman (Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs), Jeremy M. Sharp (Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs) and Jim Zanotti (Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs). Congressional Research Service - March 7, 2012. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/R42393.pdf

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41.  Inside The Nine Hours In Turkey That Left Washington Shaken. 2016Ali Watkins. Buzzfed - Jul. 31, 2016.  

42.  The Israel Lobby. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. London Review of Books - Vol. 28 No. 6 · 23 March 2006 pages 3-12.

43.  Oil, Iraq and US foreign policy in the Middle East. Irene Gendzier. Situation Analysis - Issue 2 Spring 2003.

44.  Political Challenges to the U.S. Overseas Military Presence, 1945–2014. Stacie L. Pettyjohn and Jennifer Kavanagh. RAND – December 2016.

45.  The Two-Hundred-Year Era of ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ Is Over. EMILE SIMPSON Foreign Policy - NOVEMBER 14, 2016.

46.  U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Ten Years after the Gulf War. The  Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs 2001.  

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52.  Is United States Foreign Policy "Imperialist" or "Imperial"? Jerome Slater. Political Science Quarterly Volume 91 No 1 Spring 1976.

53.  China in the Middle East: The Wary Dragon. Andrew Scobell and Alireza Nader. RAND December 2016.

54.  Trump to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Tillerson secretary of state, transition sources say. FoxNews.com - December 12, 2016.

55.  John Bolton Set To Be #2 At State Department. Kevin Drum. Mother Jones - Dec. 11, 2016.

56.  Rex Tillerson, an Aggressive Dealmaker Whose Ties With Russia May Prompt Scrutiny. CLIFFORD KRAUSS. The New York Times - DEC. 11, 2016

57.  Behind the deep ties between Exxon's Rex Tillerson and Russia. Matt Egan, Julia Horowitz and Chris Isidore. CNN - December 11, 2016.

58.  Who is Rex Tillerson, the oil exec who went from dark horse to likely Cabinet pick? F. Carter Smith. Dallas News - Dec. 11, 2016.

59.  Who Is Rex Tillerson, Trump's Reported Pick for Secretary Of State? MICHEL MARTIN. NPR - December 11, 2016.

60.  Kellyanne Conway says Trump is “going to put his own people” in the intelligence community. Melissa McEwan. Shareblue - December 11, 2016.

61.  Trump Chooses Hard-Liner as Ambassador to Israel - MATTHEW ROSENBERGDEC. The New York Times - 15, 2016.

62.  Trump Has Appointed More Generals in His Cabinet Than Any President Since World War II Story. Democracynow - December 16, 2016.

63.  Resetting Turkey-US relations. Denny Rehberg. The Hill - 01/13/17.

64.  Inside Trump’s shadow national security council. Josh Rogin. The Washington Post - January 19, 2017.

65.  Flynn is creating the most military-heavy National Security Council of the modern era. Josh Rogin. The Washington Post - January 21, 2017.

66.  Scahill: Blackwater Founder Erik Prince, the Brother of Betsy DeVos, Is Secretly Advising Trump. Democracy Now - January 18, 2017.

67.  Politics Donald Trump Read Donald Trump’s Full Inauguration Speech. TIME - Jan. 20, 2017.

68.  Donald J. Trump takes the helm. What happens now? Jacob Heilbrunn. The National Interests -  January 20, 2017 http://nationalinterest.org/feature/america-first-begins-19140

69.  Trump could cause ‘the death of think tanks as we know them’. Josh Rogin. The Washington Post - January 15, 2017.

70.  Trump told one China is basis for ties. ZHAO HUANXIN, ZHANG YUNBI. China Daily - 2017-01-16.

71.  Middle East derangement syndrome: Egypt, Turkey and Israel have all fallen prey to delusions about Trump. Steven A. Cook. Salon – Jan. 22, 2017.

72.  Turkey's president interested to hear Trump's policies on Mideast. Fox News – Jan. 22, 2017.

73.  Turkey expects improved relations with the Trump administration. Washington Post-Jan 19, 2017.

74.  Make Turkish-American Relations Great Again: Advice for the Trump Administration. Burak Kadercan. War on the Rocks - January 18, 2017.

75.  'Ups and Downs': What the Obama Presidency Did to US-Turkey Relations. Sputnik – January 20, 2017.

76.  Importance Of NATO’s Incirlik Airbase For Turkish-American Relations – OpEd. Mehmet Bildik. Eurasia Review - January 10, 2017.

77.  Trump's tough talk rattles world capitals Trump's inauguration speech reaffirmed campaign themes that had unnerved foreign leaders. Nick Wadhams & Josh Wingrove. Business Standard - January 22, 2017.

78.  US pastor in Turkish jail while Gulen dominates talks. Amberin Zaman. Al-Monitor-Jan 19, 2017.

79.  Why Trump Should Recognize the Armenian Genocide. Areg Galstyan. American Thinker-January 22, 2017.

80.  Former US lawmaker urges Trump administration to fix ties with Turkey. Daily Sabah-Jan 14, 2017.