Call for Papers

Traditional “Civilian Powers” and Global Challenges: Preservation of “Ulysses” or Return of “Gulliver”?*

Special Issue, The Journal of Perceptions

Guest Editors: Bahadır Pehlivantürk and Birgül Demirtaş

The current global system has been witnessing the confluence of many new and old challenges ranging from climate change, ethnic-religious cleavages to state collapse and global terrorism. Many of these challenges are of asymmetrial nature and create new risks and threats for nation-states. The traditional civilian powers that could confront the problems of the Cold War years with their foreign and security policies focusing on multilateralism, international law and avoiding use of force. However, the regional conflicts of the 1990’s, events of 9/11 and recently the turmoil in the Middle East with the accompanying threat of global terrorism have created important question marks for traditional civilian powers like the European Union, Germany and Japan. This special issue will shed light on the foreign and security policies of civilian powers and try to examine whether they have been shifting their approaches to regional and global problems. Main research question of the articles will be as follows: How do the civilian powers perceive the new challenges? How do they respond to them? Do they make any changes in their traditional foreign policies? If yes, what kind of a shift is taking place? Are they “normalising” to become like the hegemonic actors? How can be their contribution to the international system be elaborated? Do they still contribute to the calming down of the hegemonic actors? What kind of credibility do they have in the international system? What is their current approach to the the issue of use of force? The issue aims to contribute to the theoretical and empirical debate on the issue of the “civilian powers”.

Deadline for submissions: 31 December 2016

Contact addresses: and

* The concepts of “Ulysses” and “Gulliver” have been taken from Gunther Hellman, “The Sirens of Power and German Foreign Policy: Who is Listening?”, German Politics, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1997, pp. 29-57.