Deliberating in difficult times: lessons from public forums in Turkey
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This dissertation examines how under semi-authoritarian political contexts and fragmented social structure public deliberation function, by in-depth analysis of three Public Park Forums in İzmir which were created during 2013 Gezi Protests. This study demonstrates that even though the effects of these public forums in decision-making process are limited; they can still foster deliberative culture in society. This culture paves the way for strong interaction between civil society organizations and a more civic public. This dissertation also finds that, there is a reciprocal relationship between contextual dynamics in which these public forums operate and forums internal deliberative features; thus both sides take position and re-position according to other side. This study argues that, deliberative prospects of such public forums under nondeliberative settings are relatively modest, nevertheless, they can be research areas for further studies in terms of analyzing their role in enhancing social capital, deliberative culture and civicness.