Decoding the authoritarian code: exercising ‘legitimate’ power politics through the ruling parties in Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia

Dzihic, Günay

Artikel & Kommentare 15.11.2016

Peer-Review Paper in der Zeitschrift "Southeast European and Black Sea Studies"von Dzihic/Günay

Zurück

Decoding the authoritarian code: exercising "legitimate" power politics through the ruling parties in Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia
Cengiz Günay & Vedran Dzihic

Pages 1-21 | Received 06 Jul 2016, Accepted 26 Sep 2016, Published online: 24 Oct 2016

Abstract:

While neoliberal interventions and policies have had serious effects on all societies, their impact on the institutional setting of some countries in the European periphery has been particularly drastic. Over the last years, countries as Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia – which we have selected as an illustration for the trend – have gone through processes of Europeanization and neoliberal transformation. For the ruling parties the ‘European agenda’ and neoliberal structural adjustment reforms opened new spaces to alter established political routines and reconfigure institutional settings. In the light of generally weak institutions, the ruling parties in Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia have aimed at consolidating their power through the adoption of authoritarian patterns of governance. The three countries experienced a democratic rollback accompanied by a rise of authoritarian tendencies, limiting the space for democratic contestation. The article explores the foundations and mechanisms of the authoritarian patterns of governance in the three countries. Developments in Macedonia and Serbia are dealt in reference to the power system and the claims to legitimacy of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey. The article argues that the ruling parties’ power derives from their legitimation strategies based on institutional reforms in line with EU conditionality, redistribution through informal channels and populist nationalist narratives. The ruling parties function as machines and clientelistic channels. They have been sidelining or replacing formal institutions and practices with negative long-term repercussions on democracy and the functioning of the state.

Link to the paper