Issue 23 – Liberalism: In History, Theory and Turkey

Editor: Gökhan Atılgan

Liberty under Gloom: A Study of 19th-century Liberalisms
Ateş Uslu

The emergence of liberalism as an ideology and as a political current dates back to the early
19th century, though its philosophical foundations lay in the 17th and 18th centuries. Through
the 19th century, liberalism mainly emerged as a political movement, and corresponded to a
political line adopted by reformist aristocrats and bourgeois against absolute monarchy. It was
not until the end of the 19th century that liberalism set itself up as a coherent political-economic
ideology, and that it was equated to the politics of free trade. In this article, the development of
the 19th century’s liberalism is studied in relation to political and social history, benefiting from
the memoirs, letters and periodicals, as well as the works of the liberal authors, of the period.
The article aims to analyze the limits of liberalism’s conception of freedom at various moments
of the 19th century.
Keywords: Liberalism, 19th century, history of political thought, bourgeoisie, freedom.

Max Weber’s Influence upon the Works on Ottoman Classical Age
Erdem Sönmez

In this study, I seek to analyze the historiography in Turkey in general and Max Weber’s influence upon the works on Ottoman Classical Age in particular. The Weberian model has been used by liberal-conservative intellectuals to understand the history of modern Turkey. On the other hand, Ottomanists whose political positions are quite different from liberal-conservative intellectuals and who studies the Classical Age of the Empire also use the same model as an analytical tool to hide their particularistic approach. Thus, Ottomanists prepare a certain background on the Ottoman history for the thesis on the history of modern Turkey which had been defended by liberal-conservative intellectuals. I also argue in this paper that the Weberian model which has been used both by Ottomanists and liberal-conservative intellectuals is a result of a decontextualised Weber reading.
Keywords: Historiography, Ottoman Studies, Max Weber, patrimonialism, particularism.

Economic Theories of Stateor‘ Economics Imperialism’: Rent – seeking Analysis as an Exemplar
Galip L. Yalman
Translation: N. Pınar Erdoğan ve İbrahim Gündoğdu

‘State’ and ‘market’ are concepts so grossly abused that they have almost lost their heuristic value as analytical categories. They have also come to symbolise not only alternative strategies of capitalist development, but also rival premises upon which hegemonic strategies were to be developed. In the era of neoliberal hegemony, it has been contended that a ‘theory of state’ is required so as to make up for the deficiencies of the mainstream economics. This study focuses on the antinomies of an influential attempt to develop an economic theory of politics, namely, the rent-seeking analysis. It highlights the fact that the concept of the state as a neutral guarantor of contractual relations is no more than a ‘mental construct’, hardly relevant to account for the phenomena in question, but one which would be instrumental in providing the circumstances conducive for the ‘rational economic man’ to operate according to the assumptions of a particular model. This, in turn, indicates the need for conceptual categories to come to terms with ‘collective action’ in ways in which theories premised on individualistic foundations and/or limited by empiricist epistemologies could not provide.
Keywords: State, market, property rights, rent-seeking, choice-theoretic, second-best.

The Hegemony Project Carried By the JDP and The Resurgence of Neoliberalism
Ali Ekber Doğan

The Justice and Development Party (JDP) was established in the year 2001 and came to power
in November 2002. Since then, it has been ruling party, and that period has almost become a process of the resurgence of neoliberal policies. The JDP government has become successful in the perpetuation of neoliberal policies with the help of grassroots relations impoverished labour sections of society. Thus the JDP has removed the negative image of neoliberalism in the eyes of these sections. The JDP initailly aimed to develop a hegemony project of combining new conservatism (composed a clear Islamist tune) with neoliberalism, which had ben first formed toward the mid-1990 in Turkey. This paper focuses on the ways in which this hegemony project has been implemented in Turkey.. That process will be analysed within the framework of the political economy of the JDP government and hence the resurgence of neoliberalism.
Keywords: Resurgence of neoliberalism, second wave structural reforms, new Hegemony
Project in Turkey, the JDP rule, socialisation of neoliberalism.

Private Security and Transformation of the Capitalist State: Critical Reflections on Turkey
Çağlar Dölek

This study aims to critically evaluate privatization of security services in the era of neoliberal globalization. Locating itself against the dominant discourses in the literature which glorify the market and reproduce the state-society distinction, it argues that the public provision of security has been the principal mediation through which the capitalist state reproduces itself with the claim of “classneutrality”. However, the privatization of security tendentially undermines this very claim of “classneutrality” of the capitalist state by opening the way to the class-based organization of coercion. This central argument is advanced with reference to the contradictory process of privatization experience in Turkey, which has been determined within the context of the state’s dilemma of ensuring social legitimacy and intensifying social control in the era of neoliberal social transformations.
Keywords: Monopoly of violence, “class-neutrality” of the capitalist state argument, primitive
accumulation, private security, social legitimacy.

The Role of the World Bank during the Inward – Oriented Capital Accumulation Process in Turkey
Güllistan Yarkın

This paper examines the role of the World Bank during the debt dependent inward-oriented capital accumulation process that took place in Turkey between the mid 1950s and the late 1970s. Transportation, energy, irrigation and port projects were some of the main infrastructure areas for which the Bank provided loans to the Turkish state. Through the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey, which was founded with the enormous support of the World Bank in 1950, the World Bank also provided loans to the Turkish private manufacturing sectors whose continuity depended upon technology transfer from the early industrialized capitalist countries, particularly from the USA. The rules in the loan project agreements demonstrate the fact that the World Bank financed the majority of the import expenditures of the Turkish state and the Turkish bourgeoisie. This paper argues that the World Bank created the necessary conditions for the technology transfer from the early industrialized capitalist countries and particularly from the USA to Turkey. Pursuing this strategy, the World Bank did not only aim to eliminate the barriers facing capital expansion of the USA and the other early industrialized capitalist countries, but also satisfied the needs of the Turkish commercial capital that aimed to turn itself into productive capital.
Keywords: The World Bank, productive capital, technology transfer, inward oriented capital
accumulation, the Turkish Industry and the Development Bank.

A Question  Of Democracy In Kyrgyzstan
Altynbek Joldoshov

Democracy has become an ambition rather than a tool in a contemporary world. The main goal of democracy is to bring people in a system in which they are directly involved in a government and their freedom preserved. However, the implementations are far from this reality. But the democracy in Kyrgyzstan has become a paradigm for institutions (political parties, civil societies and etc.) and procedures instead of existing for people. This paradigm leads to certain mistakes and it seems that there is a shift from antidemocratic governments to democratic ones in the world. Undoubtedly, Kyrgyzstan is a country that represents this allegation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan has performed liberalization and democratization through certain economic, political and social reforms. Within this framework, there have taken place the processes of transition from planned economy to free market economy; a new constititution has been ratified ,a multi party system has emerged and the civil society has been supported. However, the critical evaluation of democratic developments in Kyrgyzstan shows that there is no establishment of democratic system that is under people’s sovereignty. Significantly, the economic, political and social reforms made by post-Soviet Kyrgyz government do not represent modern liberal democratic principles. Morover it can be said that although democratic institutions and procedures exist in Kyrgyzstan, these institutions do not perform systematically, even they become ‘governmet’s toy’. Consequently, the economic, political and social transition processes in Kyrgyzstan, instead of representing the onset of the democratization processes, represent the structure, which can be decribed as a low intensity democracy regime.
Keywords: Kyrgyzstan, Democracy, Low Intensity Democracy, Authoritarianism, Post-Soviet.

Roots and problems of Organization
Çetin Veysal

This paper is about the relationship between modern people as individual, person and citizen
and their society. In this regard, the focus will be on political, civil and democratic organizations of society. Existential roots and bases of such organizations (political organizations, civil organizations and democratic organizations) will be examined from philosophical and political perspectives. To make this problematization clearer, I will discuss and evaluate Adorno and Horkheimer’s views of organizations. The main goal of this paper is to investigate the root of the need for people as social entities to organize, what the bases of such organizations, kinds of problems and questions it contains and possible answers that can be provided.
Keywords: Organization, civil society, freedom, people, individual.

Towards Critique of Democracy: How about Democracy?
Derviş Aydın Akkoç