Globalization, civil society and citizenship in Turkey: actors, boundaries and discourses
Keyman, E. F.
219 - 234
English (United States)
Item Usage Stats
In recent years, civil society has become one of the most important concerns of academic and public discourse. It would not be a mistake to propose that today there is a strong, effective and even over-glorified talk about and a global agenda for civil society and its role in the process of creating a better and humane world. In this talk and agenda the main intention is to reinvigorate and strengthen civil society politically, organizationally and normatively as a counter- hegemonic and resistance movement against the state-centric world. This paper argues that Turkey does not constitute an exception in this context. Rather, it provides an illuminating case-study in which the crisis of the state-centric modernity has given rise to the elevation of civil society to the status of being an exteremely important actor and arena for the democratization of the state-society relations. However, on the basis of the three-year-long research (1999-2002) we have done on 'the impacts of globalization on Turkey', the paper also argues that the role of civil society in the process of democratization should be considered a necessary but not a sufficient condition, insofar as it contains both democratic and essentialist discourses about citizenship and identity. In order to substantiale these arguments, the paper will first outline the internal and external factors that have paved the way to the emergence and the increasing importance of civil society in Turkey, and then will shift its attention to the question of 'the use and the abuse of civil society'. In seeking a proper answer to this question, the paper will focus on the discourses and strategies of different civil society organizations about state, society, citizenship and identity in Turkey.