Call for Papers:
“Taking Stock: Ten Years of AKP Rule in Turkey”
A one-day conference on November 16th, 2012
New York University, Politics Department, New York, USA
After winning 34.2% of the national vote and more than two thirds of the seats in the parliament, Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, or AKP) formed the first single-party government in Turkey in fifteen years on November 18th, 2002. In the ensuing ten years, AKP managed to win two more general elections (in 2007 and 2011, with 46.6% and 49.8% of votes respectively) as well as two local elections and two constitutional referendums and sustained its single-party rule. Much has changed in Turkey in these ten years, maybe most importantly, the center of gravity in the military-civilian relations to the detriment of the military. After a number of confrontations with the military and the judiciary, the secular-Kemalist establishment eventually lost ground vis-à-vis theAKP government. This was reflected in the sweeping prosecutions against high-ranking retired and active military officers for allegations of involvement in coup plots or past military interventions. In its first term in government, AKP emphasized its pro-EU stance, undertook some important reforms and made promises for a more inclusionary approach and a democratic opening, which helped it win the support of some liberal groups despite the party’s religious-conservative underpinnings. Subsequently, however, AKP began to undertake its own version of single-party-led social and political engineering and the authoritarian tone once again prevailed, accompanied by the prosecution of journalists, Kurdish politicians and student activists, and an overall lack of tolerance of and pressure on political opposition. The emphasis on the conservative, patriarchal and Islamic values has also increased in the later period, most recently reflected in the discussions about abortion started by the Prime Minister Erdogan. On the economic front, AKP has been rather consistent in its neoliberal policies and pro-business/anti-labor stance, and although Turkey did register strong positive growth rates in recent years, this has not benefited all social groups equally, nor has it helped problems like chronic high unemployment, income inequality and the large account deficit. AKP has also tried to distinguish itself from previous governments with a more assertive foreign policy and ambitions for greater regional power in a rapidly changing Middle East and Europe in distress, although this new foreign policy is yet to produce positive results for the region or for Turkey.
Within this background and in the midst of significant current developments such as the preparations for a new constitution to replace the much criticized 1982 constitution remnant of the 1980 coup, heated debates regarding a possible switch to a presidential system promoted by Erdogan and his party, increasing domestic tensions and unprecedented regional transformations, we hope to bring scholars working on Turkish politics, economics and foreign policy for a one-day conference on November 16th, 2012 so as to take stock of one decade of AKP rule and to provide insights on the current political context. Although AKP government is subject to much discussion and scrutiny in Turkey, these discussions are inevitably affected by the high-pace of the domestic political agenda and often lack a more systematic approach and longer-term perspective. Furthermore, very few of these debates find their way outside of the borders of Turkey. Thus, a further aim of this conference is to help foster more critical engagement with the effects of AKP rule in Turkey within the NYU community and the broader US audience. For this purpose, we aim to publish the final versions of the conference papers as an edited volume or a special journal issue. After full-length papers are submitted, more definitive steps and a decision will be taken with regard to the outlet of the publication.
The conference will take place on November 16th, 2012, at New York University. It will be a one-day conference with three panels. We anticipate three or four papers per panel as well as a chair and a discussant. Paper presentations are expected to be 15-20 minutes long, followed by a Q&A session.
Please submit proposals including an abstract (up to 300 words) and a bio of the presenter (up to 50 words) by August 15th, 2012 via e-mail to email@example.com. Acceptance notifications will be sent by August 31st. Conference presenters are expected to confirm their attendance by September 31st, and submit their papers by November 1st.
Department of Politics
New York University
19 West 4th Street, Room 215
New York, NY 10012
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