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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The geopolitics of Turkey's 'humanitarian diplomacy' in Somalia: a critique
Author:Baird, Theodore
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy (ISSN 0305-6244)
Geographic terms:Somalia
Subjects:international relations
foreign policy
humanitarian assistance
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03056244.2015.1084913
Abstract:In 2013, Ahmet Davutoglu, then Foreign Minister, revealed the multiple dimensions of Turkey's new 'humanitarian diplomacy' - a diplomatic strategy which has taken precedence in Turkey's involvement in development and aid cooperation globally and its expanding role in Africa and Somalia in particular. This brief article provides a critical counterpoint to the debate on Turkish humanitarian diplomacy in Somalia. The author argues that the social construction(s) and production(s) of Turkish 'humanitarian diplomacy' cannot be resolved by ideological interpretation, but through the study of state and non-state practices in the field and their effects. In it the author demonstrates that ideological explanations and reasons for Turkey's presence in Somalia have presided over empirical scholarship, without any real first-hand work to justify the claims that have been made. In conclusion, he argues for a research agenda which focuses on how Turkish institutions generate symbolic and material effects in Somalia, rather than an ideological project in support of the state. Bibliogr., note, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]