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Decoding the Repertoires of Authoritarian Neoliberalism in Turkey

Decoding the Repertoires of Authoritarian Neoliberalism in Turkey

Turkey’s recent political and economic direction under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has come to occupy a significant place in academic and popular discussions on authoritarian politics, and the party has been positioned by many as the harbinger of a particular type of authoritarian governance that combines electoral success with repression. This portrayal of the party marks a drastic shift from many earlier analyses, which characterised the initial tenure of the AKP government as a period of substantial democratisation.

This special issue zooms in on the practices, processes and mechanisms that underpin AKP’s so-called ‘authoritarian turn’ by questioning the extent to which the party’s recent performance represents a qualitative break from its earlier practices and policy priorities. Our contributions demonstrate that authoritarian practices have long been a part of the party’s approach to governance. We examine the continuum of authoritarian governance in the AKP era through the prism of authoritarian neoliberalism, which allows us to integrate aspects of the party’s political economy into a broader analysis of its democratic trajectory. Our contributions trace the shifts in economic governance with particular reference to labour relations and corporate ownership, and examine the repercussions of the changing politics of security and of consent generation. We interrogate how developments in these areas have been linked to the broader transformation of the state under the AKP rule, and how these reforms have facilitated and normalised further authoritarian practices.

South European Society and Politics

A leading point of reference for scholars of Southern Europe, South European Society and Politics (SESP) promotes both comparative and inter-disciplinary analyses, as well as offering innovative single country and sub-national studies. The journal covers both “old” and “new” Southern Europe, focusing on Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. It is open to scholars working in any of the major social science disciplines – notably, political science, political economy, sociology, social policy, social anthropology and socio-legal studies – as well as to those working in the field of contemporary history.

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South European Society and Politics Book Series

The South European Society and Politics Book Series promotes new empirical research into the domestic politics and society of South European states. Its geographical scope includes both ‘old’ and ‘new’ Southern Europe, defined as Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey.


Series Editors:

Susannah Verney
Anna Bosco