Lecture | Annual Roundtable on Contemporary Research Trends in Turkish Studies 2022
The CHP in local government: Democratic enclaves within authoritarian neoliberalism?
- Friday 2 September 2022
2311 BD Leiden
Since the 2019 local elections in Turkey, a substantial number of municipalities have passed to parties of the opposition. The negative effects for the AKP government have been palpable: Not only did it loose the 'political machine' of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality –administering a region with 16 million inhabitants– which has been operating as a major distributive platform for the financing of newspapers, Islamic associations and corrupt businessmen. It also lost the local infrastructure required for mobilising crowds for its political mass events. For the Republican People’s Party (CHP) –the main opposition– this partial transfer of power has been empowering: After more than two decades, opposition cadres are now in possession of power and are holding positions that will qualify them for future politicians and bureaucrats on the national level. Based on fieldwork in the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, I will be examining two questions: How democratic have the CHP projects and politics been so far? And secondly, will the CHP municipalities indeed be ’springboards’ for a jump from local to national power?
Relevant for this talk is his recent paper "Dilemmas of Subnational Democracy under Authoritarianism: Istanbul's Metropolitan Municipality” in Social Research: An International Quarterly (Vol. 88 no. 2, 2021, p. 501-537) as well as the forthcoming “Architectures of domination? The sacralisation of modernity and the limits of Ottoman Islamism” in Raudvere and Onur (2022) Neo-Ottoman Imaginaries in Contemporary Turkey, Palgrave Macmillan.
About the speaker
Kerem Öktem is Assoc.-Prof. of Political Science and International Relations at Ca' Foscari University Venice, Italy. Previously, he was Prof. of Southeast European and Turkish Studies at the University of Graz, Centre for Southeast European Studies and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, Centre for International Studies.
Prof. Öktem is interested in the intersections of global power, domestic politics and contested identities. He is particularly intrigued by how transnational connections shape local politics and ethnic identity discourses. His primary empirical case is Turkey, while he also has fieldwork experience on Muslim communities in the Balkans and ethnic conflict in Greece and Cyprus.
His latest publication is an edited volume with the title ‘Turkish Jews and their Diasporas. Entanglements and Separations’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022, with Ipek Yosmaoglu). Relevant for this talk is his recent paper "Dilemmas of Subnational Democracy under Authoritarianism: Istanbul's Metropolitan Municipality"in Social Research: An International Quarterly (Vol. 88 no. 2, 2021, p. 501-537).
For more information, see: https://keremoktem.academia.edu/
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