Society, Politics, and Economy in Modern Turkey: Sociology of Turkey - Maintained by Tugrul Keskin
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
― Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A New Book: Social Unrest and American Military Bases in Turkey and Germany since 1945

By  Amy Austin Holmes

Cambridge University Press, June 2014

Over the past century, the United States has created a global network of military bases. While the force structure offers protection to U.S. allies, it maintains the threat of violence toward others, both creating and undermining security. Amy Austin Holmes argues that the relationship between the U.S. military presence and the non-U.S. citizens under its security umbrella is inherently contradictory. She suggests that the while the host population may be fully enfranchised citizens of their own government, they are at the same time disenfranchised vis-à-vis the U.S. presence. This study introduces the concept of the “protectariat” as they are defined not by their relationship to the means of production, but rather by their relationship to the means of violence. Focusing on Germany and Turkey, Holmes finds remarkable parallels in the types of social protest that occurred in both countries, particularly non-violent civil disobedience, labor strikes of base workers, violent attacks and kidnappings, and opposition parties in the parliaments.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction: the global American military presence in comparative perspective
2. Social unrest and the American military presence in Turkey during the Cold War
3. Social unrest and the American military presence in Germany during the Cold War
4. From shield to sword: the end of the Cold War to the invasion of Iraq
5. Conclusion: losing ground.


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