Issue 30/31 – Public Policies in Turkey in 2000s

Editors: Selime Güzelsarı, Hülya Kendir, Taylan Koç

Internationalization of Capital and Transformation of the State: Rising of Technocratic Authoritarianism
Ümit Akçay

The issue of internationalization of capital and its effects on the changing internal structure of the state has been broadly debated in recent years. This paper aims to indicate the changing orientation of the state by proposing an alternative explanation based on Marxist political economy approach. For this aim, first neoliberal, institutionalist, and transnational class/state approaches are critically examined and the process of transformation of the state is analyzed as intertwined and dynamic relationships between the state, social classes, and capital accumulation by employing N. Poulantzas’s analytical framework. Second, the paper suggests that the concept of “interior bourgeoisie” might be useful for explaining transformation of the state, especially for emphasizing the internal dynamics which are argued among of the crucial elements of the transformation. Finally, it proposes that the concept of “technocratic authoritarianism” might be an explanatory tool for comprehending the processes of the technicalization of the decision-making, the tendencies of depoliticization, and of authoritarianism as significant components of the recent transformation of the state.
Keywords: internationalization of capital, transformation of the state, interior bourgeoisie, technocratic authoritarianism.

Apolitization and Depolitization as a Management Strategy in the Application Process of Neoliberal Economy Policies in Turkey
Melehat Kutun Gürgen

The study focuses on the strategies that are used by the political power since the process of application to transition neoliberal policies which resistance of in social clash atmosphere in pre-coup of 1980. In the dominant-liberal discourse contex which emphizes the politization of the society causes political unstability and then economic crisis; the strict duality between economy and politics, namely economical policies extracting from issue of social strugle compose in the bases of these strategies. This process obtains legalization by civil society discourse in local level, widely, the political economy regulations on the international level require the concrete capacity of administrative state. Besides the main purpose, this study also aims a critique of analyses which influences of Weberian approuches that explain the state, with it’s functions, seemed as a structure to maintain the stability of political system, not in the basis of economic field and class relationship. As metodologically, the state is understood in the basis of holistic and relational analyses. So, the state is defined as a social relation form or more generally an inseperable part of whole production relationship. From 1980’s to today, how to shape the application strategies of neoliberal policies and to conceptualize will provide better understanding what the parts of the ideological role in the legalization procedure of these policies.
Keywords: neoliberal policies, apolitization, depolitization, democracy, state, dominant discourse.

Large-Scale Privatizations and State Transformation in Turkey During the AKP Period
Merih Angın – Pınar Bedirhanoğlu

This article aims to make a critical analysis of the bloc sales of large scale state enterprises such as PETKİM, Türk Telekom, ERDEMİR and TÜPRAŞ privatized during the AKP period to identify the specific political policies and strategies the Party has pursued in this process and the implications of these on the state’s neoliberal transformation in Turkey. Within this framework, it highlights how the AKP has effectively turned these bloc sales into a process that proved its neoliberal competence and how the state has acquired a specific “merchant” character thenafter. The article concludes however that behind this appearance of “success” lies a political process, which has deepened the subordination of the state by capital.
Keywords: privatization, state, AKP, PETKİM, Türk Telekom, ERDEMİR, TÜPRAŞ.

Some Considerations on Telecommunications Sector and Its Administration in Turkey
Sırrı Emrah Üçer

The study hereof aims to discuss the role of the state in enabling conditions of flow of capital to the telecommunications sector. The recent regulatory reform process is discussed in this context of state enabled flow of capital. Privatization of Turkish telecommunications incumbent and its outcomes are to be engaged. Analysis of basic facts and statistics, review of mainstream and critical literature on regulatory reform, evaluation of some legislation and their consequences in the context of contemporary Turkish politics are the instruments of the study.
Keywords: telecommunication, ICT, privatization, regulation.

Capital Accumulation, State and Classes in the Process of the Transformation of the Energy Sector and the Construction of Hydroelectric Power Plants (HPP)
Mustafa Elberliköse

New practices unleashed in the energy sector in Turkey, including Hydroelectric Plants (HP), present an interesting case of how capitalist expansion encompasses the whole society. In the current
stage the energy sector has come out either as a new area of volarization or one of the main inputs of productive capital formation for capitalists. In this context, the decisions of capitalists
from the stage of getting production licences to the installation process display how the accumulation process has transformed into a social network. The fact that nature and natural assets are increasingly included in the commodification and commercialisation process, presents important hints regarding the transformation of the state in neoliberal authoritarianisation process and legal/institutional regulations leading to deep-rooted changes in the state-society relations and the inherent/institutional formation of state. In this work firstly the interventions in the process and theprominent position of state within these interventions will be discussed. Secondly, the tendencies of capitalists who see energy as a new area of volarization and a profitable sector providing energy need of productive capital will be dealed around the axis of centralisation and geographical expansion of capital. In this part the capital accumulation in its formation process and the inherent classes in this process will be analised through an exploration of the corporations getting energy
production licences, depending on EPDK data.
Keywords: hydroelectric power plants, Turkey, energy sector, state, capital accumulation.

From “Health to All” to “Out of Pocket Health”: The Neoliberal Transformation of Health Policies in Turkey
Ecehan Balta

The main thesis of this article is the AKP Government’s aim in realizing the reform on healthcare starting in 2003 as the World Bank Project and about to be completed nowadays, is to create a primitive accumulation for private sector instead of providing the health services in an equal manner to all citizens as they claim. The main headings of Transformation of Health Project, namely, General Health Insurance, Public Hospitals Associations and Family Practioners Systems and their possible effects on the health will be discussed within this context.
Keywords: transformation of health project, general health insurance, public hospitals associations, family practioners systems.

Public Pharmaceutical Policy in the Neoliberal Restructuring Process of Health System in Turkey: Changing Forms of State Intervention
Ali Serkan Mercan

The aim of this article is to present descriptive and interpretive explanations regarding the public policies conducted in the field of pharmaceutical expenditures, which is the second big item of social security expenditures. This field, since the beginning of 2000s, particularly with the Health Transformation Program, that is the policy tool for neoliberal restructuring of health by the governments of Justice and Development Party, becomes specifically visible. In this text, the policies about the actors and process in the pharmaceutical market, which are connected to the rising ofpublic pharmaceutical expenditures, will be discussed in the context of neoliberal structuring of the state through the changing modes of intervention to the market. Within this context, the role of “global budget” applications, as the main regulatory policy tool within the field since the year 2009, in the process of redefinition of the relations between state and capital will be explained.
Keywords: pharmaceutical market in Turkey, health transformation program, public pharmaceutical expenditures, global budget.

New Institutionalism(s) as the Mainstream of Social and Labour Market Policy Studies: Employment Policy Transformations in Greece, Spain and Turkey in the 2000s
Sümercan Bozkurt

There have been extensive transformations in the fields of social and labour market policies on a global scale. These transformation processes that have witnessed reform initiatives in changing forms and degrees have at the same time intensively become subject of social scientific knowledge production. This paper aims to lay bare the limits of new institutionalist perspectives that have gained a central place in the fields of social and labour market policies on the one hand and their points of convergence with the mainstream approaches and policies on the other hand. In that respect the employment policy transformations in Turkey, Spain and Greece in the 2000s are critically examined. These cases have witnessed intensive labour reform initiatives and implementations especially within the context of the 2007-2009 global economic crisis. These policy making processes that have been shaped around the main postulates of new institutionalism(s) imply differences as well as important commonalities. Within the scope of this paper such common tendencies are mainly focused on and the tensions immanent in the policies that are in line with the mainstream framework are pointed out.
Keywords: new institutionalism(s), social policy and labour market policies, Turkey, Greece, Spain.

Neoliberal Police Reform as a Getaway from Bourgeois State Form: The Case of Turkey
Funda Hülagü

This article provides a critical analysis of the post-Soviet police transformation that has been on the agenda for about two decades all over the world. To elaborate and rethink this analysis within a
concrete historical process, the transformation of the police in Turkey is analysed. However, as the number of political science-based studies on the police are very limited, it is proved to be impossible to produce critical knowledge on police transformation without developing a theoretical framework on the nature of the modern police and the socio-political tensions embedded in it. Hence, before analyzing the neoliberal period, the article attempts at developing a class-based theoretical framework on the formation of the modern police in the 19th century, and concludes that the modern police apparatus has been shaped by a specific political division of labour between state power and class power. Having analyzed the neoliberal police reform with the help of this theoretical toolset, the article maintains that in the neoliberal era the police apparatuses have been reintroduced to the political sphere as “anti-statist non-state” actors, and started making transformative interventions in the modern political field. The police restructured as a non-state actor has been dissolving the modern political field through various strategies. In fact, the police apparatus in Turkey has been constructing itself even as a “civil society” organization, and redefining the processes of legitimation, and mass participation of people in politics –which are necessary aspects of modern political field- through its new police ideology. The main argument of the article is that this process as a whole is one that restores the class power of the capitalists over the police.
Keywords: Police reform, neoliberalism, bourgeois state form, Turkish Police Organisation, class power.

The Political Economy of Alternative Publicity: A Theoretical Consideration from “Capital in General” to “Association in General”
Koray R. Yılmaz

This paper aims to present a theoretical perspective on the conception of alternative publicity from the point of Marxian critical political economy. For this purpose, first the difference between
the concepts of public and public sphere has been clarified. The public sphere that is constructed by gender and class relation is considered as a constricted part of public as a whole. Therefore, in
order to create an alternative publicity, this constriction that stems from gender and class relations must be abolished. In this context, it is argued that capitalist publicity is organized by the relation of “capital in general”. Therefore, the second part of this paper focuses on the concept of “capital in general” created by Marx. This argument then is made more concrete benefiting from the concept of “individual capital” as a representative part of “capital in general”. In the third part, with reference to Marx`s approach to joint-stock company, the corporations are addressed. And it is highlighted that the joint-stock companies are a kind of abolition of capital as private property within the framework of capitalist system itself. But it has to be stressed that this is a passive abolishment. For the alternative publicity, the main problem is to find a convenient answer to the question of what the active abolishment means? In this paper, this question is addressed in the contexts of “association” notion as a transition form to the alternative publicity and the notion of “association in general” as
an alternative publicity. In sum, the theoretical answer of this study to the above question signs the transition from “capital in general” to “association in general”. This transition means that the transformation of money to money as capital and the transformation of labour power to variable capital have to be terminated. It is clear that, this requires an alternative form of organization to the corporation. Lastly it is focused on the working principle within the associations since it is one of the most important aspects of the specificity of associations. The corporations are maybe the most important relations, which expand the realm of necessity against to the realm of freedom because of the existence of compulsory labour. For this reason, they must be addressed critically in the studies that focus on alternative publicity.
Keywords: public, public sphere, alternative publicity, Marx, capital in general, association, association in general.