Conventional models developed through the conceptual lenses of modernization theory dating back to the 1960s, are no longer applicable to Turkish politics; they fall short of grasping the changes that Turkish ideologies experienced in recent decades. In the face of Turkey’s growing democratization and societal modernization, Turkish secularists have lost their status as agents of reform and gradually emerged as defenders of the status quo in the face of the rapid mobilization of Anatolian-based conservative society. However, no factor was more responsible for this transformation than the comprehensive external and internal structural changes that Turkey experienced in the post-Cold War era, leading to the emergence of a globalist conservative ideology in large parts of Anatolia. This paper examines the question of why those who are commonly associated in Western scholarly discourse with progress and modernity,have fallen behind the Muslim conservatives in pursuit of democratization and further integration of the country with the West. The paper argues that at the root of the present conflict lies the tension between two modernization routes: a bureaucratic top-down modernization that has allowed the allocation of privileges to the secularist/nationalist elites, and the grassroots socio-economic mobilization of conservative societal elements benefiting from international integration and globalization.
This paper examines the impact of contested national identity on Turkish and Japanese foreign policies. Applying a modified constructivist theoretical framework, it seeks to explore the ways in which the national
identities of Turkey and Japan are constructed, internalized and in turn externalized through their foreign policies. In examining the case of Turkey and Japan, the paper problematizes national identity as a contested space characterized by
a dash of opposing sub-national identities with distinct readings of national interests and security. Hence foreign policy decisions emerge in the context of this contestation among opposing national identities.