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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Whose Democratization? Periods of transition and voices from below in Turkey

Kivanc Atak

Type: Working Paper
Year: 2012

Turkey’s experience with democracy, at least in its procedural terms, is one which has been discontinuous thanks to repeated military interruptions to civilian rule. Since 1946, Turkey has experienced coups on an almost periodic basis, in the name of protecting the Kemalist foundations of the regime from counter-hegemonic currents however defined. These recurrent takeovers by the armed forces created a vicious circle for the survival of democracy in the country. In the meantime, various contentious players became considerably influential at different points, despite pervasive repression. By contrast, the specific junctures of transition to and resumption(s) of democracy were largely monopolized by military-bureaucratic elites leaving little room for grassroots participation. Still, public demonstrations for democratization were not totally absent, and at times articulated by various civil society and social movement actors. In the last decade, the military’s political tutelage seems to have weakened, yet this did not suffice to save Turkey from being a democracy ‘in danger’, as the authoritarian face of the state took a new form under subsequent AKP governments. Today, the continuous battle of re-democratization and de-democratization is perpetuated in Turkey’s contemporary politics and society, perhaps most notably in the realm of the Kurdish question, while democratic contributors ‘from below’ are trying to increase their salience in a patronizing state.

EUI SPS - Cosmos Working Paper 2012/08

2012WP08COSMOS

News

25/08/2017

Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA

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Wednesday, August 30th (8pm-9.30pm) professor della Porta, who directs the Center on Social Movement Studies(Cosmos), will dialogue with Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Minister of Finance during the first Tsipras government, about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies

08/06/2017

Call for Papers - Cosmos Conference "The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism"

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The Centre on Social Movement Studies, directed by Professor Donatella Della Porta, calls for papers addressing the recent global wave of student protests for a two-days conference to bel held in Florence, at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS), on 15-16 November 2017.

19/05/2017

Video available for the International Conference – Beyond Borders: Refugees and Struggles in Europe Mobilization, Solidarity and Political Challenges in the Long Summer of Migration

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Watch the video of the International Conference – Beyond Borders, which was held at Palazzo Strozzi on May 12, 2017

Publications

Monograph - 2018

Social Movements and Civil War : When Protests for Democratization Fail

Donatella della Porta, Teije Hidde Donker , Bogumila Hall , Emin Poljarevic
This book investigates the origins of civil wars which emerge from failed attempts at democratization. The main aim of this volume is to develop a theoretical explanation of the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which social movements' struggles for democracy ends up in civil war.

Journal Article - 2017

Successful student activism in contemporary Italian universities

Lorenzo Cini
This article assesses the strategies that the Italian student activists adopted in order to influence the revision process of the governance structure of their universities in 2011