Paving the Way: The politics of Turkey's central government spending under AKP rule

Hosted by the Middle East Centre

Research Centres Meeting Suite, 9th Floor, Pankhurst House, Clement's Inn, WC2A 2AZ


Dr Davide Luca

Dr Davide Luca

LSE Middle East Centre and Cambridge University

Dr Çağatay Bircan

Dr Çağatay Bircan

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development


Dr Ece Kocabıçak

Dr Ece Kocabıçak

Department of Gender Studies at LSE

An AKP supporter -Leonie Balci-800-600

Since free elections were introduced in Turkey, no other party has been able to retain its incumbency as much as the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Given incumbents’ tendency to lose support over time, what are the factors which explain the electoral durability of the party? In this event, Dr Luca will explore the rising consolidation of power by the AKP through the lens of distributive politics, aiming to assess how the ruling party has deployed the geographical distribution of public monies towards distinct political ends. Throughout the 2000s, Turkey was portrayed as a model of social and economic success for other countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Yet, the incumbent government and its economic development model face increasing criticism for corrupt and discretionary practices and arbitrary decision-making. The talk will ultimately argue that the AKP has skilfully used public monies and abused state resources to cement its power and develop its populist, electoral authoritarian regime.

Davide Luca is a Visiting Fellow at the Middle East Centre and a Research Associate at Cambridge University. His research combines Geography, Political Economy, and Public Economics to focus on the politics of policy delivery and development at the local level. 

Çağatay Bircan is a Senior Research Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. His current research is on the effects of international trade, private equity, and banking on innovation and productivity. 

Ece Kocabıçak is currently working as Fellow of Globalisation, Gender and Development in the Department of Gender Studies at London School of Economics and Political Science. Her teaching and research engage with the contemporary debates in international development, comparative political economy, political sociology, and social inequalities. 

Join the conversation on Twitter using #LSETurkey

This event is hosted by Turkish Contemporary Studies and Middle East Centre at LSE.

About the LSE Middle East Centre

The LSE Middle East Centre (@LSEMiddleEast) builds on LSE's long engagement with the Middle East and North Africa and provides a central hub for the wide range of research on the region carried out at LSE.

Join the MEC Mailing List

Join the MEC mailing list to keep up to date with our latest events, publications, news updates and podcasts.


Keep up to date with the latest MEC podcasts by following us on Soundcloud.

You can also find our latest interviews and videos on YouTube.

Twitter and Facebook

Keep in touch with the MEC through Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates on events, important Centre news and for details of Middle East events happening around London.


If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, as well as on accessibility and special requirements, please refer to LSE Events FAQ. LSE aims to ensure that people have equal access to these public events, but please contact the event’s organiser as far as possible in advance if you have any access requirements, so that arrangements, where possible, can be made. If the event is ticketed, please ensure you get in touch in advance of the ticket release date. Access Guides to all our venues can be viewed online

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend checking back on this listing on the day of the event if you plan to attend.
Image: An AKP supporter. Source: Leonie Balci


LSE Middle East LSEMiddleEast

RT @OfficialBrismes: The BRISMES Solidarity Fund has been set up to help fund conference bursaries for #BRISMES2020 to enable more scholars…

27 minutes ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

LSE Middle East LSEMiddleEast

RT @LSE_CCS: NEW BLOG | "Rather than viewing civil society through a westernised lens, global northern NGOs and donors need to recognise th…

2 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

  Sign up for news about events