This edited collection looks at how political parties in Turkey actually work, inside and out. Departing from traditional macro-level analyses, the book offers a new sociological approach to the study of political parties, treating them as non-unitary entities composed of many different groups and individuals who both cooperate and compete with one another.
The central proposition of the book is that parties must be studied as clusters of relationships in specific locales rather than as unitary ‘black boxes.’ This ground-up approach provides new insights into the internal workings of political parties; why parties gain and lose elections and other political resources; and the ways in which power is negotiated and exercised in Turkey and beyond.
Chapters include studies of Islamic and Islamist parties from the 1970s to the present, ethnic Kurdish parties, center- and extreme right parties, and the far left, as well as independent candidates. The authors pay particular attention to relations – and the blurry boundaries-- between parties and civil society groups, religious associations, non-governmental organizations, ethnic and socio-economic groups, and state institutions, and to the variability of external and internal party politics in different geographies such as Adana, Mersin, and Diyarbakir.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Reconsidering Parties, Power, and Social Forces - Élise Massicard and Nicole F. Watts 1 Explaining Turkish Party Centralism: Traditions and Trends in the Exclusion of Local Party Offices in Mersin and beyond - S. Ulaş Bayraktar and Cemal Altan 2 Explaining the Popular Appeal and Durability of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey - Menderes Çınar 3 The Uses of Team Rivalry: Reconsidering Party Factionalism in Turkey - Élise Massicard 4 How Islamist Parties Emerge: The Case of the National Order Party - İpek Gencel Sezgin 5 The Collective Production of Challenge: Civil Society, Parties, and pro-Kurdish Politics in Diyarbakır - Gilles Dorronsoro and Nicole F. Watts 6 Party Penetration of the State: The Nationalist Action Party in the late 1970s - Benjamin Gourisse 7 How Political Dynamics Work in Professional Organizations: The Radical Left and the Istanbul Bar Association - Emre Öngün and Manar Hassan 8 Being Elected as an Independent in a Party Environment - İlter Turan
Nicole F. Watts is an associate professor in the department of political science at San Francisco State University. Her research concerns state-society relations, social movements, and dissent among the Kurds in Turkey and in Iraq. Her publications include Activists in Office: Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey (Univ. of Washington Press, 2010) and many journal articles and book chapters.
Elise Massicard is Permanent Research Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, France, and Director of the Observatoire de la Vie Politique turque at the Institut Français des Études Anatoliennes in Istanbul. Her work focuses on the political sociology of contemporary Turkey.