Building Neoliberal Order through Pacification: The Case of Turkey, 1980-2010

Güven, Erdem
Based on a critical evaluation of dominant and ‘critical’ perspectives in studies of authoritarianism and security, this thesis offers an alternative approach to analyse the concomitant reconfiguration of security and the balance of social forces under neoliberal transformation. Employing a unique incorporation of the form-analytical account developed in relational state theory with the general propositions of the critical theory of pacification it aims to explore the modalities of the exercise of state power through which the political implications of the contradictions and crises inherent in capitalist accumulation have been contained, managed, and policed in neoliberal Turkey. The study covers the initial three decades of neoliberalism, from 1980 to 2010, a period warranting considerable attention for having laid the groundwork for profound changes within the state set to unfold in the post-2010s, particularly by securing the balance of social forces despite protracted economic crises. The thesis mainly argues that pacification, devised as a class strategy under authoritarian statism, has functioned as the main political mechanism in reproducing the contradictory totality of capitalist social relations in the crisis-ridden development of the Turkish political economy under neoliberalism. The politics of pacification is historically analysed against the backdrop of the sociopolitical repercussions of successive phases of reforms and restructuring. The analysis focuses on a range of techniques of governing and policing embodied in the processes through which the social and economic insecurity induced by neoliberal policies have been secured: securitization of the political, making of the pacified workforce, policing of the class of poverty, reinforcement of the ideal citizen-subjectivity.
Citation Formats
E. Güven, “Building Neoliberal Order through Pacification: The Case of Turkey, 1980-2010,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2024.