Islamism, Democracy and Liberalism in Turkey
The Case of the AKP
Routledge – 2009 – 240 pages
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) were elected to power in 2002 and since then Turkish politics has undergone considerable change. This book is a comprehensive analysis of the AKP, in terms not just of its ideological agenda, but also of its social basis and performance in office in the main theatres of public policy – political reform, and cultural, economic and foreign policies.
Based on an extensive analysis of official and party documents, interviews, academic sources and media coverage, the book outlines the main features of the current global debate on the relationship between Islam, Islamism and democracy. While most top AKP leaders come from an Islamist background, the party has behaved as a moderate, centre-right, conservative democratic party who are fully committed to democracy, a free market economy and Turkey’s EU membership. The book explores and analyses these changes in Turkish politics, and provides coverage of the workings of the contemporary Turkish political systems, policy and ideological issues that go to the heart of Turkish identity.
Filling a gap in the existing Turkish and English literature on the subject, this book will be an important contribution to Political Science, particularly the areas of Turkish politics, Middle Eastern studies, Islamic studies and comparative politics.
Introduction: Islamism, Democracy and the Turkish Experience Part 1: The AKP’s History, Ideology, Social Bases and Organization 1. The History of Islamist Parties in Turkey: From the National Order Party to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) 2. The AKP’s Ideology: Conservative Democracy 3. The AKP’s Social Bases: A New Centre-Right Coalition? 4. Party Organization Part 2: The AKP in Government 5. Democratizing Reforms and Constitutional Issues 6. Cultural Policies: Creeping Islamisation or Politics of Avoidance? 7. The AKP Government and the Military 8. The AKP and the Turkish Economy 9. Foreign Policy and the AKP Conclusions, Assessments and Expectations
Ergun Ozbudun is Professor of Constitutional Law and Political Science at Bilkent University.
William Hale is the former Professor of Turkish Politics in the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. He is a specialist on the politics of the Middle East, especially Turkey, and has written a number of papers and books on modern Turkish politics and history.