An inquiry into rural-development nongovernmental organizations in Turkey : degree of institutionalization and socio-economic characteristics of the employees

Topal, Çağrı
This study is examining the institutionalization degree of the rural development nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and the social-economic status of the employees in those NGOs. The development NGO sector has enormously grown within last three decades. It has also been a period of reorganization for capitalism. The neo-liberal political economy has replaced the Keynesianism/Fordism, integrating the national economies into the global economy. This integration has resulted in increasing income inequalities, poverty, and unemployment. Middle classes have lost their jobs, and their life standards have eroded. In the period, the international funds channeled to the NGOs have increased to a great extent. The growth of the development NGO sector is closely linked to those consequences of the neo-liberal reorganization. Poverty, qualified but unemployed individuals, and the international funds have made it possible, inevitable in fact, for the NGOs to proliferate and enlarge. As they enlarge their scope, they have to develop institutional structures, which in turn employ more qualified people. In addition to their role in the struggle against poverty and in the, more or less radical, criticism of the social and economic order, NGOs have acquired a new function, creating employment and a certain level of social-economic status, a status of middle class, for those employed. What we have been observing in Turkey is similar to the developments in the other parts of the world: economic crisis in 1970s, military junta, liberalization of economy, poverty and unemployment. Within this political economy, the rural development NGO sector of Turkey seems not institutionalized but having turned into an employment opportunity for middle class. Nevertheless, its role in the democratization process of the country is still important as far as the critical perspective is kept in effect.


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Citation Formats
Ç. Topal, “An inquiry into rural-development nongovernmental organizations in Turkey : degree of institutionalization and socio-economic characteristics of the employees,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2004.