Privatization of security and the transformation of the modern bourgeois state in the neoliberal era: the case of Turkey

Dölek, Çağlar
This thesis problematizes the phenomenon of privatization of security within the context of the neoliberal transformation of the capitalist state in Turkey. On the basis of the critique of neo-Weberian and Foucauldian literatures, it attempts to construct its peculiar theoretical-historical pathway on the relationship between state-coercion-class. It problematizes the historical constitution of this relationship within the context of the historical specificity of the capitalist state power. In this regard, the formation of the public police in the 19th century is discussed as an important, albeit contradictory, aspect of the materialization of this specificity. Furthermore, it is asserted that it was a reformative movement within which class practices of private provision of security were not totally eliminated, but incorporated into the impartially presented institutional materiality of the modern bourgeois state in and through class struggles. On this basis, the thesis discusses the privatization of security in Turkey as a contradictory transformation determined by the tension between the alleged impartiality and class nature of the state. It critically analyzes the historical period from the 1960s to the 2000s to identify different dynamics of transformation in terms of the privatization of security and institutional restructuring of the state. Within this framework, it argues that the institutionalization of private security in Turkey has signalled a trend towards the fusion of state power and class power in a new form with novel contradictions.