Civil society at the boundaries of public and private spheres: the internal dynamics of three cases in Turkey

Cengiz, Kurtuluş
This study tries to understand the internal dynamics of the civil society organizations in Turkey on the experiences of three CSOs: the Ankara Branches of KADER, MAZLUMDER and IMO by focusing on the intraاorganizational practices (the decision making processes, elections, general meetings, division of labor, basic conflicts and divergences, the disagreements, the way of deliberation and consensus). It tries to shed light on the transformative potential of the CSO̕s in public sphere as civil organizations themselves in time both in the sense of their political stances and organizational structure. The research was designed in the form of a case study including both the depth interwiews and participant observations. In this framework, ten depth-interviews were made with members having different qualities for each of these CSOs and participant observations were realized in the general meetings, elections and activities of these organizations. Since the aim of this study is to understand the contribution of the CSOs to the public sphere, the research findings were interpreted and considered basically in the light of the two main theoretical positions: the deliberative (Habermas) and agonistic (Laclau and Mouffe) democracy. The study espoused a post-structuralist conception of democracy combined with a weakened model of deliberation and dialogue pointing out the requirement of the existential publicity of man (Arendt) in the world. In this context, this study tries to discuss the following questions within the framework of the public sphere experience of the three CSOs throughout the thesis. Is the concept of civil society a proper concept for understanding the peculiar experience of Turkey (with reference to the historical context of civil associational life in Turkey and the recent civil resurrection)? Do civil organizations have the capacity to serve for deepening and


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Citation Formats
K. Cengiz, “Civil society at the boundaries of public and private spheres: the internal dynamics of three cases in Turkey,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2005.