EU Democracy Promotion and Governmentality: Turkey and Beyond, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

EU Democracy Promotion and Governmentality

Turkey and Beyond, 1st Edition

By Hanna L. Muehlenhoff


173 pages

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Hardback: 9780815347729
pub: 2019-03-05
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This volume draws on a Foucauldian understanding of governmentality to explore how EU civil society funding policies depoliticise civil society organisations. It questions whether international civil society funding always depoliticises civil society organisations, as the literature on governmentality and international civil society policies argues.

The author examines how the liberal and neo-liberal rationalities of EU funding have both politicising and depoliticising effects on the human rights organisations funded, and demonstrates that whether the effects help or prevent the politicisation of human rights depends on how legitimate or contested the issue is domestically and how the civil society organisations act in this political context. These themes are explored through an in-depth analysis of the case of Turkey and EU funding of organisations working in the fields of women, LGBT and Kurdish rights.

Unpacking liberal and neo-liberal governmentality in EU democracy promotion and civil society funding, this insightful contribution to the literature will be of interest to scholars of International Relations, Middle East Studies, European Studies and democracy promotion.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: On EU democracy promotion, the question of depoliticisation, and the case of Turkey

2. (De)politicisation, (neo-)liberal governmentality, and hegemonic struggles

3. The (neo-)liberal governmentality of EU civil society programs

4. The (de)politicisation of women’s rights organisations in a complex context

5. (De)politicising LGBT rights organisations and the effects of visibility

6. The (de)politicisisation of the securitised Kurdish rights issue

7. Conclusions

About the Author

Hanna L. Muehlenhoff is a lecturer at the Department of European Studies, University of Amsterdam (UvA). Her research is on the EU’s human rights promotion, gender and security policies, focusing on Turkey. She recently published in the International Feminist Journal of Politics and Politics.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

  • Jenny Edkins ( and
  • Nick Vaughan-Williams (

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / National
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Cultural Policy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism