The State and society relations in the early republican era : the state capacity and the hegemonic power of the Turkish State

Başaranlar, Burak
This study aims to examine the incapacity of Turkish state and the limitations of Kemalist regime to materialize the reforms. The study emphasizes that since the hegemonic and infrastructural power of the Turkish Republic was insufficient, the Kemalist regime partially failed to transform the society as it wished and could not legitimize the ideal behind the reforms because of the weak state structure. Firstly, theories about the state and society were touched upon. Three main theories which are liberal, Marxist and Weberian approaches were evaluated in order to position the state’s role and capacity in state and society relations.Secondly, the infrastructural power of the state through which the state exercises its power was analyzed. In this sense, economic structure of the state, the state’s ability to monopolize the physical force and transportation system during the early Republican Era was examined to analyze the insufficient authority of the Turkish state. Lastly, the hegemonic institutions and symbols of the Turkish statearound which the state and society relations were shaped were focused on. In this part, the health and education institutions which the state directly uses to maintain hegemony over the society were analyzed. In addition to these institutions, the position of women under Kemalist regime and anti-veiling campaign was evaluated as one of the hegemonic tools of the Republic since transition to modern clothes symbolized the replacement of non-modern and tradition with modern and civilization. However, resistance shown by some segments of society also depends on the infrastructural and hegemonic limitations of Kemalist regime.