Constructing Regional Community and Order in Europe and by Bahar Rumelili

By Bahar Rumelili

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The debate between Spivak and Bhaba is useful in highlighting aspects one should be attentive to in asserting and discussing the agency of the other. In the name of empowering the other, my intention is not to adopt a naïve supposition that the other can exercise full autonomy in resisting and subverting the hegemonic discourses. Spivak’s argument is a potent corrective in this regard. However, Spivak overstates her case by leaving virtually no room for resistance by the other. Bhaba, on the other hand, while acknowledging the limits of the Self’s hegemony, also recognizes an autonomous space for the other in misreading, misappropriation, and mimicry.

How was the Soviet Union threatening to US identity? How is it that the Cold War with the Soviet Union became a matter of producing US identity?

18 Constructing Regional Community Chapter 4 analyzes the process of identity negotiation between EU and Turkey that has made it possible for the EU to declare Turkey a candidate for membership in 1999, and start accession negotiations in 2005. I specifically show the ways in which Turkey sought to challenge the construction of the identities of Europe/Asia and Europe/Islam as mutually exclusive and inherently incompatible. In this ongoing process of identity negotiation, a fundamental element of continuity is the continued prevalence of discourses which construct Turkey as inherently different from Europe.

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