Plus Ça Change … Re-Articulating Authoritarianism in the New Turkey
Ongur, Hakan Övünç
MetadataShow full item record
This study argues that the understanding of politics that prevails in contemporary Turkey resonates with Ernesto Laclau’s perspective on Turkish politics of the 1930s. Adapting Laclau’s antagonistic politics to the analysis of contemporary Turkey produces a critical counter-narrative that reveals in effect a continuation of an authoritarian tradition, between the socio-political discourses of the 1930s CHP and the present AKP. Accordingly, discourses of both political movements are fundamentally inspired by the same logic of difference, one that reduces the role of the construction of equivalential chains among different pre-existing political demands to a pragmatist game of hegemony. Their authoritarianisms, however, differ from one another in terms of the symbolic frameworks within which each respective regime is sustained. Whereas the early CHP represented French-inspired, Jacobin-like, nationalist approach to democracy, the AKP has established US-paralleling, neoliberal and neo-conservative governmentality, which was made public in the party’s New Turkey Manifesto in 2014.