Conservative Globalism at the Crossroads: The Justice and Development Party and the Thorny Path to Democratic Consolidation in Turkey

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Series Details Vol.14, No.1, March 2009, p21-40
Publication Date March 2009
ISSN 1362-9395
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Abstract: The article builds on the premise that the standard left-right division is not a meaningful characterization of Turkish politics. Political competition in Turkey in the present era is increasingly characterized by a contest between 'conservative globalists' and 'defensive nationalists' and the political environment is marked by the conspicuous absence of a European-style left-of-centre social democratic party. The article investigates the kinds of influences that enabled the Justice and Development Party to enlarge its electoral coalition in 2007 suggesting an even bigger swing of the pendulum towards conservative globalists compared to the situation in the previous election of 2002. It also tries to highlight the inherent weaknesses of conservative globalism and points towards the absence of effective and constructive opposition as a means of explaining the recent instability and re-polarization in Turkish politics which constitutes a major obstacle on the path to democratic consolidation.

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