Issue 9 – From Regulation to Re-regulation: Restructuring of Capitalism in Turkey and the Changing Role of the State

Editor: Demet Dinler

The Critique of the “Strong State Tradition” Thesis in Turkey
Demet Dinler

In the analysis of state/society relations the dominant paradigm in Turkey is the one which takes State and society as two separate entities and which focuses on the negative impact of strong State tradition stemming from the Ottoman patrimonialism, persisting during the Republican transformation and still dominating society in today’s Turkey. The article critically evaluates this paradigm with reference to the way in which state/society, state/bourgeoisie/ state/economy are considered and tries to show how it brings about some mistaken political outcomes for class struggle, by preventing us from exploring the State as a form of the social relations.

Keywords: State/society Relations, Class Struggle, Ottoman Patrimonialism, Turkey, “Strong State Tradition”.

An Attempt for an Alternative Framework on the Relationship Between State and Dominant Classes in Current Turkey
Zafer Yılmaz

This article attempts to develop an alternative framework on the relationship between the State and dominant classes by departing from Poulantzas’ relational understanding of the State. In that sense, it emphasizes that the State can not be seen neither as a subject nor as an object* but rather as a form of the power relations between classes. Also, to understand recent changes in the State apparatuses and reconfiguration of the power bloc in Turkey after 1990’s, it argues that the specific articulation between international finance Capital and domestic finance Capital must be at the centre of the analysis. At that point it underlies that as foreign direct investment, short-term Capital movements are not a thing but a transformative social force, whose interest is represented both within the power bloc and bourgeoisie of the host country. In that sense, the article tries to shed light on how dominant forms of the relations of production are reproduced within Turkey via this specific articulation, which depends on the financing of State debts by the local banks through borrowing from international finance Capital.

Keywords: State, Poulantzas, Turkey, Finance Capital, Power Relations.

Governance: All Power to the Capital
Birgül Ayman Güler

This paper critically evaluates the concept of “governance” which gained considerable importance since the 1990’s both in the literature of social sciences and in almost all fields of public administration. In this analysis the way in which the term is defined by international organizations and by the official documents in Turkey is considered as well as its use in the academic literature. It is concluded that the governance is a “participatory” but an “anti*democratic” formula since it reconstructs the balance of classes in favour of capital. It is observed that governance, which suggests the deprivation of labouring classes from the instruments and means of social struggle, leads to reasserting the interests of capital as the general interest of society.

Keywords: Governance, Labouring Classes, Capital, Social Struggle, Balance of Classes.

The “Constitution” of Global Capitalism: GATS
Selime Güzelsarı

World Trade Organization (WTO), which can be seen as the new regulatory institution of capitalism at the international level, has acted like an intermediary institution tor Capital since 1995 by creating agreements. Among these, General Agreements on Trade in Services (GATS) has emerged as the first constitutional multi-lateral agreement in the area of international trade in services. In this article, GATS will he examined by questioning three main points: the meaning of liberalization of trade in services with special reference to public services; the dynamics of GATS/WT0; and the reflections of GATS on the relations both between nation-states and between Capital and labor.

Keywords: Global Capitalism, WTO, GATS, Nation-States, Multi-Lateral.

Regulating the Regulatory State: A Critical Assessment of OECD Report for Turkey
Sonay Bayramoğlu

The aim of this paper is to critically explore the programme of regulatory reforms promoted by OECD through an evaluation of the report of regulatory reforms for Turkey which was published in 2002. The paper mainly asserts that the “Regulatory Reforms Programme” primarily intended to re-organlse the State under the shadow of the global market, while presenting the State as a focal point of departure for overcoming the “market failures”. Thus, regulatory reforms represent a shift from “market-friendly State’* to “market driving State”.

Keywords: Regulatory State, OECD, Turkey, “market-friendly State”, “market driving State”.

The Problem of the Local State and New Trends in the Transformation of the Local State
H. Tarık Şengül

After drawing the theoretical framework within which the changing form of the relation between the State and the urban space should be considered, the article deals with the concrete developments concerning the transformation of the local State, in the Keynesian and neoliberal periods, with reference to both developed and underdeveloped countries. It, then, analyzes the transformation of the local State in Turkey by focusing on the current debates on the “local government reform”. İt shows how the failure of the neoliberal policies brought to the agenda the “crisis of the local State” and asserts that the basic factor behind the crisis lies in the failure of forming a local State structure corresponding to the model of the “competitive cities” which had become a dominant paradigm in the neoliberal period. Another crucial point underlined in the article is that though the proposals for reform geared to decentralization are defended for the sake of “democratization and participation”, the current drafts for reform are far from fulfilling these objectives.

Keywords: Local State, Turkey, Neoliberal Policies, Crisis, Decentralization.

Privatization in the Energy Sector: Governance in a Competitive Market?
Faruk Ataay

In this study, the privatisations in the energy sector are analysed in the framework of the restructuration of the State. İn analysing the transformations in the energy sector, the organization of the sector during the period of planning and the one which is actually being constructed are compared. The study then focuses on topics like the juridical status of the Services concerning the energy sector, the organizational form in the public sector, the relations betvveen the public sector and the private sector. It also questions whether or not the new model is able to provide “a competitive market” structure as the discourse on privatisation suggests and whether or not the “governance” mechanism can really be seen as a progress for democratic purposes.

Keywords: Privatization, Energy Sector, Restructuration of State, Competitive Market, Governance.

“Fiscal Crises of State” in Turkey
Yiğit Karahanoğulları

The main goal of this paper is to get a critical perspective for the analysis of the fiscal crises in the growth process of the Turkish economy since 1963, by an interdisciplinary perspective. The methodological references of the analysis are “fiscal crisis of the State” theory introduced by James O’Connor, the contcepts of “accumulation recime” and “mode of regulation” elaborated by French Regulation School and the concept of “hegemonic project” by Bob Jessop. These analytical tools allow us to understand the way İn which public finance and economic and politic processes function. After a short theoretical survey, Turkey’s accumulation process is considered. Accordingly, three hegemonic projects and corresponding accumulation regimes are differentiated. it ıs observed that ali accumulation regimes and hegemonic projects have implied different roles for the state in each period. Wıthin this argumentation it is stated that each type of capital accumulation and class relations solved within the hegemonic projects witnesses a fiscal crisis of the State, which becomes also the benchmark of the end of the hegemonic project.

Keywords: Fiscal Crisis, Turkey, Hegemonic Project, Accumulation Regime, Mode of Regulation.

Globalized Agriculture and Agricultural Reform in Turkey
Hülya Kendir

This paper focuses on the structural adjustment policies and the recent agricultural reform policies in Turkey since 1980’s, which are parallel with the globalization process in the agricultural sector, In this sense, it tries to indicate that these new policies reflect the demands of global/international and localCapital, which is integrated with globalization. Finally it shows that the role of the state has also changed in terms of the changing policies in the agricultural sector.

Keywords: Globalization, Agriculture, Turkey, State.

Health Policies from 1980’s Onwards
Ata Soyer

In this article, the liberalization tendencies in the health policies in the period after 1980 are dealt with. While keeping track of the major steps of the liberalization process in the health sector. It is aimed at delineating the main characteristics of the liberalization tendencies in health Services. The main conclusion is that liberalization in health Services has both eroded public health Services, bringing up some major problems, and caused a transfer of resources from the public sector to private sector, and thus, that a private health sector is emerging with an intense support by the State.

Keywords: Health Policies, Liberalization, Public Health Service, Public Sector, State.

The Management of Poverty and the Right of Social Security
Murat Özveri

In the urbanized and industrialized transformations, social protection is seen as the mission of government and the right of citizen in the national and International documents where secured comfort is the basic principle of the nation. In recent years, developed countries and donors have agreed upon ambitious targets regarding various dimensions of privatisation of social security systems in the developing world. Poverty reduction policies are typically conceived
trying to achieve pro-poor growth that is inclusive of the poor.

Keywords: Poverty, Social Security, Urban Transformation, Social Protection, Privatisation.