While Turkey has made major strides in democratic reforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s, progress has, in many ways, stalled. Turkey remains "democratic" in the sense that attaining political power depends upon winning votes, but in recent years its leadership has taken a majoritarian view of democracy and the country has faced problems on issues such as rule of law, freedom of speech, and increased polarization.
This book explores the understanding and practice of democracy in Turkey since the early 2000s, analyzing its evolution in light of the parliamentary elections held in 2015. Adopting a more holistic approach in line with the writing of Wolfgang Merkel, it recognizes that a successful, consolidated democracy has various micro and macro-level foundations. The former includes factors such as political values, tolerance, identity, and civil society, while the latter includes political economy, party competition, and institutional development. This volume rejects purely descriptive assessments and instead employs theoretical perspectives to analyze a dynamic political environment. It brings together a range of noted specialists on Turkish politics and society, who employ different methodological approaches and frameworks to offer a distinct scholarly work on democratization in Turkey.
A thorough analysis of the problems of democratic consolidation, alongside an awareness of the theoretical and methodological debates in the discipline, make this book essential reading for students, scholars and policymakers interested in Turkish politics, as well as democratization and democratic transitions more generally.
Paul Kubicek is Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies at Oakland University. He has written extensively on democratization in Eurasia and in Turkey, and is the editor of Turkish Studies.