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Title: Assessing the Turkish model : the modernisation trajectory of Turkey through the lens of the multiple modernities paradigm
Author: Goksel, Oguzhan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 516X
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2015
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With the Arab uprisings of 2011, the so-called ‘Turkish model’ emerged as central to a number of debates within academia about the significance of the modernisation experience of Turkey and its alleged applicability for developing countries of the Middle East and North Africa region. This thesis explores the concept of the Turkish model through the lens of modernisation studies. There are two mainstream conceptualisations of the Turkish model within the scholarly literature, namely what this thesis terms the ‘structural model’ and the ‘societal model’. While the structural model emphasises the value of the Kemalist secularisation program and the pre-1980 period of state-led development for the alleged success of Turkey in modernisation, the societal model highlights the role of social forces, particularly focusing on the post-1980 period of economic liberalisation and the rise of the AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) after 2002. The methodology of the structural model is based on hypotheses of ‘classical modernisation theory’, whereas the societal model is inspired by ‘neo-modernisation theory’. Nevertheless, there is a gap in the existing literature on the Turkish model in terms of holistically examining this country case with a rising approach within modernisation studies in recent years – the ‘multiple modernities paradigm’. This thesis offers an alternative approach to the study of the Turkish model by applying the multiple modernities paradigm. This theorem challenges Eurocentric and deterministic conceptualisations of modernity by arguing that the processes of secularisation and economic development do not necessarily result in the consolidation of liberal democratic regimes. The thesis argues that the conceptual frameworks used by the structural and societal models within Turkish studies are based on the historical Western European experience of development, which prevents the two schools from fully accounting for the nuances of the unique process of transformation in Turkey. While expecting Turkey to replicate the Western experience, both approaches neglect the significance of historical contingency, path dependency and international context for the socio economic and political history of this country. By contrast, the multiple modernities paradigm acknowledges the profound impact these factors had on Turkey’s modernisation experience. Based on this framework, the thesis analyses the economic, social and political development trajectories of Turkey, showing that modernisation in this non-Western society has been a complex phenomenon that produced a divergent ‘modernity’ rather than converging towards Western values such as liberal democracy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available