1st Edition

Regime Change in Turkey Neoliberal Authoritarianism, Islamism and Hegemony

Edited By Errol Babacan, Melehat Kutun, Ezgi Pinar, Zafer Yilmaz Copyright 2021
    274 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    274 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Turkey’s new presidential regime, promoted and shaped by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), has become a global template for rising authoritarianism. Its violence intensifi es the exigency for critical analysis. By focusing on neoliberal authoritarian, hegemonic and Islamist aspects, this book sheds light on long- term dynamics that resulted in the regime transformation. It presents a comprehensive study at a time when rising authoritarianism challenges liberal democracies on a global scale.

    Reaching from critical political economy and state theory to media, gender and cultural studies, this volume covers a range of studies that transcend disciplinary boundaries. These essays challenge the narrative of an "authoritarian turn" that splits the AKP era into democratic and authoritarian periods. Hence, recent transformation is analyzed in a broad historical framework which is sensitive to both continuities and shifts. Studies that explore moments of resistance and relate the political development in Turkey to rising authoritarianism and the crisis- driven trajectory of neoliberalism on a global scale are included in this effort.

    Since the advancement of neoliberal policies in conjunction with the religious project that is pushed forward by the AKP suggests that the ongoing transformation may well advance into a more totalitarian regime, this book strives to inform struggles that are trying to resist and reverse this development. By reviewing the dynamics and impacts of recent authoritarian developments, it calls on critical scholars to further seek out potentials and dynamics of opposition in the current authoritarian era.

    Introduction - Debating Regime Transformation in Turkey: Myths, Critiques and Challenges

    Errol Babacan, Melehat Kutun, Ezgi Pınar, Zafer Yılmaz


    1. Crisis of What? Crisis in or of Neoliberalism? A Brief Encounter with the Debate on the Authoritarian Turn

    Galip L. Yalman

    2. A Labour-Oriented Perspective on Regime Discussions in Turkey

    Ezgi Pınar

    3. Making the New-Neoliberal State in Turkey: Beyond the Prevailing Master Narrative

    Melehat Kutun

    4. Global Class Constitution of the AKP’s ‘Authoritarian Turn’ by Neoliberal Financialization

    Pınar Bedirhanoğlu

    5. Transformation of News Media in the Neoliberal Era: The Turkish Case

    Eylem Çamuroğlu Çığ and Ünsal Çığ

    6. Internationalized Class Governance and the AKP’s Populism – Contradicting Elements? On Turkey’s Integration with the European Union

    Axel Gehring


    7. Hegemony and Privileges: Reproduction of Islamism in Turkey

    Errol Babacan

    8. Regime Change in Turkey: Old Symbols into New Settings

    Simten Coşar

    9. Recent Right-Wing Lurches in India and Turkey: What Do They Have in Common?

    İsmail Doğa Karatepe


    10. Laicism and the Struggle of Alevis against the Rise of Political Islam in the AKP Era

    Hakan Mertcan

    11. The Politics of Legality of the Authoritarian Liberal Regime in Turkey

    Zeynep Kıvılcım

    12. Constructing a Language of Peace through Women’s Struggles – The Case of Women for Peace Initiative in Turkey

    Meral Camcı


    Errol Babacan is a post- doc researcher and Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Münster, Germany. He is an associate of the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics". His research covers political Islam, migration politics, racism studies and the relationship between economic and cultural transformations, with a special focus on Turkey related issues.

    Melehat Kutun
    is an Einstein Research Fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin. Her PhD degree is in politics and social sciences. Her publications focus on critical state theories, Turkish politics, migration politics and contemporary political theory. She is currently studying on her habilitation project. She is a member the editorial board of Praksis Journal and signatory of the « Academics for Peace » Declaration.

    Ezgi Pınar
    currently carries out her post- doctoral studies in Philipps-Universität Marburg. Her research interests include theories of state and neoliberal restructuring, critical political economy, labour politics and Turkish Politics. She published on the Integration of Syrian Migrant Workers to the labour market in Turkey, on labour force management and state- capital relations in Turkey with respect to education policy.

    Zafer Yılmaz
    is an Einstein Fellow in Comparative Political Sciences and Political Systems of Eastern Europe, Department of Social Sciences at Humboldt University in Berlin. He works currently on the rise of authoritarianism, transformation of the rule of law and citizenship in Turkey.

    "In a collection of original and challenging articles, Regime Change in Turkey critiques the many conventional views about how Turkey’s budding democracy took an ‘authoritarian turn’. Perhaps the two encouraging lessons for the future of a democratic Turkey are that the permanence of authoritarian regimes is never a forgone conclusion and secondly that in politics, nothing stays the same. In these terms Regime Change in Turkey is an essential guide to the prospects of political reform."

    Prof. Dr. Bryan S. Turner, Australian Catholic University and Potsdam University Germany

    "This timely and important collection challenges the conventional view of an ‘authoritarian turn’ of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey. It provides ample evidence for AKP’s deep-rooted authoritarian, patriarchal tendencies which were actualized in the wake of the financial crisis and the electoral success of the pro-Kurdish party HDP."

    Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherrer, University of Kassel Germany

    "This is a vigorous book that makes a thought-provoking contribution to existing scholarship on current regime transformation in Turkey by going beyond ready-made terminologies and narratives of an ‘authoritarian turn’ in the AKP era. The editors have brought together a wide range of critical studies on the long-term economic, cultural and political aspects of regime change as well as possibilities for democratic resistance in Turkey. A must read for rethinking the dynamics of rising authoritarianism in Turkey as well as globally."

    Prof. Dr. Şebnem Oğuz, Başkent University Ankara Turkey

    "This volume is a strong antidote to mainstream analyses of Turkey’s dictatorial structure, which unduly romanticize the current governing party’s first 'liberalizing' term. Unlike most of the scholarship, it refuses to isolate institutional determinants of the Turkish regime. It contextualizes its repressiveness within the degeneration of global capitalism rather than attributing it to Turkish political culture."

    Prof. Dr. Cihan Tuğal, University of California at Berkeley