Pragmatism and utopia under the auspices of neoliberalism : turning out to be cittaslow of Seferihisar

Gündüz, Can
This thesis tries to identify the new city-governance mechanisms deployed in the Western Aegean small town of Seferihisar, following the town‘s membershipto the international Cittaslow association of small towns. The membership has quickly transformed the place into a yearlong touristic destination, while leading several other agendas for the improvement of theurbanquality of life in the town. Regarding Turkey‘s EU Accession Process, this thesis regards Cittaslow as a multi-scalar meta-governance mechanism, which guides the municipalities of small towns in rescaling their urban governance as tailor-fit to their corresponding sociospatial specificities. The thesis argues that the social-democratic municipality in Seferihisar plays a key energizing role in the ―joining-up of the ―bottom-up community inertia by constantly counterbalancing the state‘s neoliberal policies at the local. The proactive outlook of the municipal leadership in the town is particularly operational in the staging of a neo-communitarian, self-regulatory gesture by the community, since (a) this outlook is more and more demanded by the ―good institutions of the global neoliberal order, which are now functioning in socially and environmetally (re)embedded protocols, and (b) the restructuring and rescaling policies of the central government have to be made compatible in the local through a risk sharing attitude by all parties in order to make the contradictions of the neoliberal state manageable. The essential finding of this thesis is thatmulti-scalar meta-governance mechanisms are far more operational in our daily lives than ever, as part of the restructuring and rescaling processes of the state.
Citation Formats
C. Gündüz, “Pragmatism and utopia under the auspices of neoliberalism : turning out to be cittaslow of Seferihisar,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2012.