Social Unrest and American Military Bases in Turkey and Germany since 1945

Social Unrest and American Military Bases in Turkey and Germany since 1945

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Over the past century, the United States has created a global network of military bases. While the force structure offers protection to US allies, it maintains the threat of violence toward others, both creating and undermining security. Amy Austin Holmes argues that the relationship between the US military presence and the non-US citizens under its security umbrella is inherently contradictory. She suggests that while the host population may be fully enfranchised citizens of their own government, they are at the same time disenfranchised vis-...-vis the US 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.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 5 b/w illus. 4 maps 6 tables
  • 1139898507
  • 9781139898508

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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Review quote

'This important excursion into America's Cold War 'empire of bases' is concisely written, thoroughly documented, and rich with insight. Amy Holmes has written a first-rate book.' Andrew J. Bacevich, Boston University, Massachusetts 'Amy Austin Holmes has written a timely and important book. In it, she addresses a pressing issue in international relations - the rise of America's 'empire of bases' in the postwar era. Holmes offers a compelling account of the anti-base social movements, their roots, and their impact on the American presence, showing the importance of social mobilization for restricting the US ambition to house its bases in Europe as well as illustrating how the anti-base movement became a great deal more effective once it harnessed the power of the labor movement. This study will be judged a signal contribution not just to the study of American military history, but also to the study of social movements.' Vivek Chibber, New York University 'This book addresses the politics of American military bases within a comparative analysis of Germany and Turkey. Through this, Amy Austin Holmes convincingly argues about the relevance of these cases in order to understand the development of the United States as a global power, pointing at the number of American bases outside the continental United States, as well as their peculiar forms. This book is well researched, utilizing archival materials on the US appreciation of and reaction to the peace movements in a very interesting manner.' Donatella Della Porta, European University Institute 'This is a well-written book on an understudied subject, especially in Turkey. Its rich archival data is complemented by an impressive number of interviews conducted in Turkey, Germany, and United States.' OEmer Aslan, Insight Turkey 'In arguably one of the best scholarly treatments on the subject since Alexander Cooley's Base Politics, Holmes broadens her notion of anti-base opposition beyond protests to include different forms of contentious politics. This includes non-violent civil disobedience, labor disputes, parliamentary opposition, and acts of violence and terrorism. Holmes also explores the security relationship between the United States and host governments and the difficulty in sustaining political legitimacy over US bases in the long run." Andrew I. Yeo, Perspectives on Politics
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About Amy Austin Holmes

Amy Austin Holmes is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo and Postdoctoral Fellow of International Studies at Brown University's Watson Institute. She received her PhD from Johns Hopkins University and an MA from the Freie Universitat Berlin. Her work has been published in Mobilization, the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, the Baltimore Sun and Ahram Online, and by the Atlantic Council. Her research interests include social movements, revolutions, critical security studies and US foreign policy in Europe and the Middle East.
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