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New Authoritarianism and Democratic Resistance: Reflections on Turkey

April 5, 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
William Perry Conference Room, Encina Hall Central C231

RSVP requested. Free and Open to the Public. Dinner will be served.

The once much-hailed success story of Turkey's democracy as a “regional model” has been decidedly replaced by studies of its breakdown. With its ever-increasing centralization of power under a one-man regime, obliteration of separation of powers through the co-option of the judiciary and trivialization of the parliament, as well as the total upheaval in bureaucracy and civil society due to sweeping purges, some might now see Turkey as a “global model” for a new authoritarianism.

Democratic resistance in Turkey, however, has shown resilience to protect the ever-shrinking civil space. Can democracy still make a comeback in Turkey? What lessons can the global democratic public draw from Turkey's struggle?

In this panel, academics from Turkey will explore Turkey’s new political reality, prospects for change, and the international context. Why has the response of North Atlantic democracies to the erosion of Turkey’s democracy been muted? Is Turkey’s policy of “hostage diplomacy” and offers of trade deals paying off? What are the strategies available to the peace movement, women’s movement and cross-ethnic solidarity movements in defense of civil rights and liberties? How can a global democratic solidarity be established among civilian actors worldwide in the face of creeping government authoritarianism?


Halil Ibrahim Yenigun, Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar, Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Stanford University

Yektan Turkyilmaz, Fresno State University, Henry S. Khanzadian Kazan Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies

Eda Erdener, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, previously faculty member at Bingöl University, Turkey

Sinan Birdal, Visiting Assistant Professor, International Relations and Middle East Studies, University of Southern California (USC)

Event Sponsor: 
Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, CDDRL