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