The Closure of the political as a problem of democracy : a critique on democratic thought in Turkey
Tombuş, H. Ertuğ
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This thesis examines the analysis of Turkish politics in the works of three key social scientists in Turkey: Niyazi Berkes, #erif Mardin and Metin Heper. Berkes’s account on the development of secularism in Turkey, Mardin’s center-periphery model and Heper’s strong state tradition argument and his idea of rational democracy are the subjects of the critical evaluation in this study. The main question of this thesis is whether the perspective they develop in their analysis can provide a critical democratic vision, which locates the political at its center. My project is to evaluate these three accounts from a radical democratic theory based on the ideas of Bonnie Honig and Jacques Rancière. By drawing on the writings of Honig and Rancière, I aim to elucidate the meaning of democracy and the political in order to frame my theoretical and conceptual position. Additionally, from this theoretical perspective I define the meaning of the closure of the political and argue that it is the fundamental problem of democracy. My analysis focuses on the conceptions of politics and the binary oppositions in Berkes, Mardin and Heper. My argument is that their accounts consist of limitations in registering different instances of the closure of the political as a problem of democracy. Furthermore, they displace politics with their conceptions of politics and dichotomous thinking.