November 02, 2015

Article Series-2: Second Stage of the Depoliticisation of Turkish Economy Bureaucracy

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     Derviş's Quest: 15 Laws in 15 Days
After Derviş’s appointment as a Minister, he began working for activating neoliberal economic policies via drafting necessary laws (Table 2) as well as strengthening IRAs. This process was initiated simultaneously and approximately 15 laws were drafted in less than a month. On the one hand the government (with Derviş’s push naturally) started to present draft laws to the parliament and on the other, Derviş dominated economy bureaucracy by becoming the sole authority for decision making with several top-level bureaucrats.

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June 08, 2015

Article Series-1: Second Stage of the Depoliticisation of Turkish Economy Bureaucracy

From the Editor...
In this article series, we will publish three related essays that complement each other within which we discuss whether extracting political from economy or in other words depoliticisation of economy has been realised in Turkey since the beginning of country’s neoliberal transformation in 1980s. We try to problematise the issue in three chapters. This week, we begin with the emergence of Independent Regulatory Authorities in Turkey and provide an insight on their mandate and peculiarities. Then next week, we will focus on early 2000s when Kemal Derviş, as a State Minister responsible for economy at that time, pushed the enactment of several laws ensuring pro-neoliberal economic management and decision making in Turkey. we will conclude by asking the question whether there is a trend towards “repoliticisation” in the AKP era, especially after 2011 in the last week.  
Rise of the Independent Regulatory Authorities
The neoliberal transformation in Turkish economy started during early 1980s. With the emergence of neoliberal ideas particularly in the Anglo-Saxon world, Turkey tried to keep up with the new economic world order. Along with new regulations and laws, the need for several organisational structures prevailed with a view to put neoliberal ideas into practice. In this sense, Independent Regulatory Authorities (IRAs), as they are called, which are the cornerstones of any economy bureaucracy that would like to embrace neoliberal thought, became prevalent structures in Turkey’s economic decision making.

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June 03, 2015

Should State’s Authority Be Limited?

The debate on limiting state’s authority has been carried out mostly through constitutionalism which envisions that the authority of government derives from and should be limited by a body of fundamental law. Therefore the state must be, in that respect, neutral and free from  the influences of its own people. 
Bonefeld, however, poses a profound question to that end; whether the state can be independent from the society which it springs from or not. For starters, he refers to Rosa Luxemburg’s arguments that this is, in fact, not possible since democratic forms are sacrificed by the bourgeoisie when it starts to become an instrument of the real interests of the population. Based on Engels and Marx’s accounts, Bonefeld also suggests that the main aim of all liberal constitutions is to endorse, legitimise and present bourgeois interests as universal interests of the mankind. To avert this kind of manipulation, state must be powerful to ensure its independence in order to maintain its authority vis-a`-vis the interest groups that pressure the government for their particular needs.

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