Labour and Authoritarian Neoliberalism: Changes and Continuities Under the AKP Governments in Turkey

Bozkurt-Gungen S.

SOUTH EUROPEAN SOCIETY AND POLITICS, vol.23, no.2, pp.219-238, 2018 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13608746.2018.1471834
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.219-238
  • Keywords: Authoritarian statecraft, labour regulations, labour relations, trade unions, democratic empowerment, DEMOCRACY, ECONOMY
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


There has been a recent revival of interest in the links between neoliberalism and rising authoritarianisms. This article contributes to these debates through an examination of the case of Turkey from a labour-centred perspective. It challenges the claim that an authoritarian turn' emerged in the country only after the early 2010s and argues that a deeper authoritarianism embedded in the neoliberal experience in Turkey, systematically prevented popular democratic empowerment and facilitated the expansion of the authoritarian repertoire under the AKP governments. The party's labour policy agenda has been a key facet of its authoritarian statecraft, which has been characterised by individualised as opposed to collective/institutional forms of incorporation of the labouring classes in the political economic restructuring following the 2001 crisis.