Neoliberal pension reform as a class project: the cases of Chile and Turkey

Yılmaz Akın, Burcu Gökçe
The purpose of the thesis is to demonstrate the validity of David Harvey’s argument that neoliberalism is a class project in relation to the transformation of pension systems in the countries of the South that have been forced by the International Financial Institutions since the 1980s. The proposed reform has tried to be justified by a discourse that has emphasized the need for sustainable pension systems in the face of population ageing while population ageing has indeed been one of the most important demographic problems of primarily the countries of the North. Even though the neoliberal pension reform has aimed to reduce the role of the state, the practice has affirmed Andrew Gamble’s argument that a strong state is needed to sustain the free market economy in pensions which is capable of making necessary pro-capital redistributions as also Harvey underlines and managing the social and political implications of the relevant transformations. Two important achievements of the neoliberal pension reforms from the perspective of capital have been the redefinition of the pension issue from an important political question to an age-based technical on the one hand, and the opening up of the pension “sector” to capital accumulation through its commodification. The thesis will focus on the pension transformation in Chile and Turkey in order to understand the political and economic context and contradictions of the process in line with the main arguments of the thesis.


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Citation Formats
B. G. Yılmaz Akın, “Neoliberal pension reform as a class project: the cases of Chile and Turkey,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2014.