Rise of Neo-Populism and the Decline of European Agenda in Turkey

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Beykent Üniversitesi

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Turkey's adhesion process into EU brought with it an economic reform agenda based on establishment of liberal institutions and termination of populist policy making. Despite major achievements at its early years, consolidation of power by the ruling party induced a partial reversal of reform programs. Under AKP rule, Turkey's economic model started to rely more heavily on domestic consumption that was boosted with the help of global liquidity glut. The new economic model caused a setback from the liberal settings imposed after the 2001 crisis as independent institutions lost their autonomy and the Executive extended its all-encompassing power deeper into economic and social life. EU membership was supposed to reduce clientalist practices that had for long dominated political life but when this prospect was postponed at best, internal dynamics failed to support the liberal political and economic agenda. The rule of law and a non-partisan approach in provision of public goods that are required in order to create a healthy market economy were easily dismissed for political motivations. Populist policies expanded and consolidated the voter base of the ruling party. We aim to explain the process and dynamics of the new horizons of policy making in Turkey.


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rent-seeking, neo-populism, EU, Turkey, AKP


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BUJSS 9/1 (2016), 173-186