The politics of local economic growth- a critical approach : the case of Manisa

Tunç, Gülçin
The mainstream accounts on local growth politics, which generally conceptualize the current context around the globalization of investments and the prominent role of local entrepreneuralism, argue for the tendency towards local coalitions. In opposition, the main argument of the thesis is that an increasingly fragmented and conflictual local growth politics is the defining feature of the contemporary localities. Defining the current context around the increased involvement of the business actors in directing the path of local economic growth and of the local state institutions in entrepreneurial activities, it was shown in Manisa case that intra-local conflicts are likely to deepen under conditions of increased inter-urban competition. By critically employing the concept of local dependence, it was shown that different local dependence factors result in the differentiation of the local actors’ priorities and preferences with regard to the utilization of local resources. Thus, it is concluded that a common local interest is not possible and that conflicts and contentions (between different-fractions of capital and between local labor and capital) stemming from the existence of different local dependence factors mark the process of local growth politics. As a special dependence factor in terms of local politics, the generation of land-rent was identified to be a potential basis for local collaborations whereas it was also found out that such coalitions are likely to be temporary and open to political contention. On the other hand, the supra-local relations of actors, which are essential for the pursuasion of local interests, are observed to have a determinant effect on local conflicts.