The AKP hegemony and the Gezi protests: Between resistance and dissidence

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Turkey

Approval Date: 2018




In this thesis, I examine the Gezi uprising and the way in which it positions itself vis-a vis the AKP hegemony and its neoliberal policies. For this purpose, I trace the concept of hegemony in a Gramscian and post-Marxist sense since these approaches evaluate social movements and civic actions with respect to the hegemonic struggle. I criticize post Marxist perspectives for their limitations in describing the components of social movements and the forms of struggle. I also problematize the transformation of capitalism and social movements especially after the capitalist crisis of the 1970’s. In this sense, I examine the literature on new social movements and contemporary social movements from a class perspective. I argue that the Gezi protests of 2013 were directly related to the AKP hegemony within the framework of Gramscian ‘hegemony’. For this purpose, I explore the notion of ‘neoliberalism’ with reference to the processes of commodification, flexibilization of labor, privatization of land and social policies that were directly related to the depoliticisation of poverty and the concept of neoliberal populism. Lastly, I problematize the Gezi uprising by exploring its components, forms of protest and outcomes. All in all, this thesis mainly aims to understand the relationship between the AKP hegemony and the Gezi protests and problematizes the ways in which the protests were able to influence the AKP hegemony.