Over the years, the United States has worked with many different international partners. Some of these partnerships have grown out of a shared sense of values and understanding of the world. Other partnerships have been merely for a narrow set of strategic goals, while ignoring the challenges these partners have posed. Turkey, particularly in the past ten or so years, has challenged the US's ability to balance these competing forces, as Erdogan has worked tirelessly to make as many people question their reliability as a partner, while doing just enough to remind people of their geopolitical importance. With their latest gambit to hold the NATO alliance hostage for their own gain, Turkey has raised objections to the expansion of the alliance to include Sweden and Finland. What is behind their stated concerns? Are they simply looking to leverage this crisis for their own personal gain? Can they be counted on as a reliable partner, or would it be better to cut them loose at this point? We explore these questions, and more, with Dr. Melinda Negron Gonzales, Chair of the Department of Security Studies at the University of New Hampshire Manchester and our resident Turkey expert.
Dr. Negrón-Gonzales has taught at UNH since fall 2008 and teaches courses on global studies and comparative politics. She is the Chair of the Department of Security Studies and the Founding Program Director of the Global Conflict and Human Security master's program. Her research covers social movements and civil society, counter-terrorism and human rights, international norms that promote human security (especially the responsibility to protect/R2P), and Turkish and Middle East politics. Her latest research explores the tension between counter-terrorism and human rights and analyzes the ways civil society organizations in Turkey have attempted to promote human rights and hold state officials accountable for gross human rights violations during armed conflict. Dr. Negrón-Gonzales was a Fulbright Scholar (Turkey, 2006-7). She received UNHM's Faculty Excellence in Teaching award in 2013 and a Silver UNH Sustainability Award in 2021. She serves on the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire. Please consider donating to the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire to help support this program and our overall efforts to help make sense of this complex world we all live in.
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