Publication Types:

The New Antinomies of Islamic Movement in the Post-Gezi Turkey: Islamism vs. Muslimism

1. Englishi. Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Halil Ibrahim Yenigun
Turkish Studies 18/2 (2017): 229-250.
Publication year: 2017

ABSTRACT

The third-term policies of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) in Turkey posed new challenges for observers: do top-down Islamization policies and the increasing pan-Islamist tone in Turkish foreign policy signify a return to Islamism or is a new amalgamation in the making? In this case, is ‘post-Islamism’ now dated as an analytical tool to characterize the AKP’s new ideological formation or was it always a misnomer? Drawing on el-Affendi’s (2008) distinction between the Medina and Damascus models and observing the new Islamic opposition to the AKP policies, its post-2011 ideological configuration will be analyzed with reference to an antinomy of Islamism vs. Muslimism. Muslimism, an extension of Damascus model, is a quest for power and seeks Muslim interests worldwide. Islamism, an heir to Medina model, may be characterized by an ethical pursuit of justice that occasionally clashes with Muslim political interests.

The Political and Theological Boundaries of Islamist Moderation after the Arab Spring

1. Englishi. Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Halil Ibrahim Yenigun
Third World Quarterly 37/12 (2016): 2304-2321
Publication year: 2016

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the repercussions of the apparent failure of Islamist experimentations with democracy during the Arab Spring in terms of the moderation hypotheses with a specific focus on the Egyptian case. I build on the existing arguments that repression may paradoxically moderate mainstream Islamist movements with certain caveats: when Islamists eventually come to power, their ideological vision also matters within the nexus of their strategic commitments and the on-going power struggles with other Islamist contenders. The prospects of democratisation, then, may also depend on the theoretical and political success of an Islamist political theology that accords better with rights and freedoms than a simplistic procedural democracy. Repression may indeed lead to moderation of the well-entrenched mainstream Islamist groups. However, such analyses focus only on those who remain within the fold of the mother organisation, rather than the splinter groups that break away with their more radicalised views. Under the post-Arab Spring conditions and given the Salafi factor, current views on the repression–moderation cycle must also account for the defection among certain Islamist constituencies towards jihadi or vigilante Salafism.

Marx’s Justice? Tracing the “Ethical” in Marx’s Thought

1. Englishi. Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Halil Ibrahim Yenigun
Human & Society 3/6 (2013): 305-322
Publication year: 2013
ABSTRACT
 This paper sets out to inquire into the ethical character of Marx’s objections to capitalism by revisiting the North American debate during the 1970s. Toward this end, it probes the theoretical implications of the recent ethical turn in political theory as well as the transition from Marxism to post-Marxism. In a broader sense, the question is the possibility, necessity, and boundaries of deriving an ethical theory from Marx’s thought. I argue that there is an implicit ethical dimension in his philosophical system, one that he deliberately does not make explicit. Nonetheless, this dimension can be better articulated after the recent ethical turn. However, insofar as Marx opposes any moralizing discourse and struggle vis-à-vis capitalism due to his materialist commitments, it is essential for him that the struggle remains on the ground, material, and political.

Muslims and the Media after 9/11: A Muslim Discourse in the American Media?

1. Englishi. Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Halil Ibrahim Yenigun
The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS) 21/3 (2004): 39-69.
Publication year: 2004

ABSTRACT

This paper seeks to answer two questions: Has there been a shift in the representation of Muslims by the American media in the wake of increasing number of Muslims living here, and could Muslims speak for themselves through an autonomous Muslim discourse in the post-9/11 period? Using the tools of postcolonial analysis, I analyze the coverage on Muslims in the mainstream media following the 9/11 attacks. I find that there was a shift, in the form of a differentiation between moderates and fundamentalists. Additionally, the same tropes used to represent Muslims in the colonial discourse were now employed to the fundamentalist “Other.” Muslims could speak up; however, this could not avoid reproducing the dominant discourse. Yet, the presence of a significant Muslim minority offers opportunities for broadened boundaries of “American” citizenry that can be realized by growing activism to this end.

Siyaset Teorisinde Yeni Ontolojik ve Teolojik Tahayyüller ve Demokrasi [New Ontological and Theological Imaginaries in Political Theory and Democracy]

2. Turkishi. Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Halil Ibrahim Yenigun
Dîvân 18/34 (2013/1): 1-48.
Publication year: 2013

ABSTRACT

This paper analyzes three seemingly disparate but related developments in contemporary Euro-American political thought: political ontology, critical political theology, and new formulations of radical democracy, all of which embrace clear ontological imaginaries. As I walk through each genre, I demonstrate how, when taken together, they cultivate a new mood that signifies an awareness of the ontological and theological elements in one’s own thinking. I argue that this awareness eventually prefigures new imaginaries for radical democracy. In the end, the normative hope is that this new development will engender more generous ethico-political formations by enabling a deeper sensibility toward difference and otherness, including the non-Western other. The first section examines how ontology has recently come to the fore in these two traditions in the form of post-foundational ideas. The basic trend noted here is how several thinkers now maintain the unavoidability of ontology in political thinking as opposed to anti-foundationalist views. But the idea of ground here is a far more elusive, non-determinative one that also defies foundationalist premises. I present the North American versions through White’s “weak” and “strong” ontology dichotomy while focusing on the European representatives of this streak through Marchart’s conceptualization of post-foundationalism, which draws on the distinction between politics and the political. Next, I look at how the theological element is being increasingly acknowledged as an ineradicable element of political theory. As a result, many political theorists and political theologians have converged to articulate this theological residue together. As regards the field of political theology, this is where one finds the emancipatory thinking of critical political theologians, especially liberation theology. As for political theory, I look at three theological concepts that have entertained a worthwhile afterlife: mythos, messianicity, and theodicy. I will demonstrate how these particular concepts can be productively used in political theory. As a case in point, I will pay particular attention in this section to Jacque Derrida’s concept of “democracy-to-come.” Coming to terms with our thinking’s ontological and theological elements is most meaningful when we consider the new imaginaries of radical democracy. My concern here is to underline how radical democracy’s ontological dimension has gradually acquired a crucial significance. In addition to their ontological critique of liberal democracy, radical democratic thinkers are now concentrating more on the ontological conception of democracy as an infinite ideality. My overall goal in this article is to show that a new mood is emerging in Euro-American political thinking. Inasmuch as our partners are more conscious of their ontologies and the operative mythoi in their own political thinking, our dialogical engagement will be more amenable to political arrangements that pursue more free, just, and egalitarian political arrangements.

 

ÖZ

Bu makalede güncel siyaset teorisinde farklı mecralarda yürüdüğü düşünülebilecek olsa da birlikte yeni bir ruh hâli teşkil ettiğini savunduğum üç yazın alanını ele alıyorum. Öncelikle “temel” tartışmaları sonrası temeli aşılmış görmeyen ama onun ahlâk ve siyaseti biçimlendirme tarzını belirlenimcilikten farklı kurgulayan post-temelcilik anlayışı ile seyrek ontoloji kavramını işliyorum ve bunun normatif sonuçlarını soruşturuyorum. Siyasaldaki teolojik unsuru ortaya çıkarma çabasındaki yeni teorik yaklaşımlar ise ikinci başlığı oluşturuyor. Bu bağlamda temel ve siyaset ilişkisini teist bir düzlemde tasavvur eden siyaset teolojisinin eleştirel türlerine ve bilhassa Özgürleşme Teolojisine dikkat gösteriyorum. Ayrıca siyasetteki “teolojik tortu” olarak nitelendirdiğim mitos, mesihîlik ve teodise kavramlarını ayrı başlıklarda inceliyorum. Analiz ettiğim son alan olan radikal demokrasi ise bu tartışmaya bilhassa yeni ontolojik tahayyüleriyle dâhil oluyor ve liberal demokrasi ile liberal sekülerizme ontolojik eleştirileriyle merkezî önem taşıyor. Yazının temel ekseninde savunulan düşünce, Avro-Amerikan siyaset teorisinde post-temelci siyaset ontolojisi, eleştirel siyaset teolojisi ve radikal demokrasinin birlikte kıvamlandırdığı yeni bir ruh hâline girildiği yönündedir. Bunun da radikal farklılık, derin çoğulculuk ile farklı mitosları kabulleniş ve sahipleniş gibi yeni tutumlar temelinde “öteki”ne daha açık bir müzakere zemini yarattığı ve daha yücegönüllü etikopolitik teşekküllere imkân verecek bir normatif alan açtığı savunulmaktadır