Reclaiming the national will: Resilience of Turkish authoritarian neoliberalism after Gezi

2018-05-31T08:57:54Z (GMT) by Ali Bilgic
This article explores why and how authoritarian regimes become resilient in the face of strong resistance of counter-hegemonic forces to neoliberal social and economic projects. The discussion is illustrated in the case of Turkey. The political subjectivities produced by authoritarian neoliberalism and the AKP government’s attempt to reassert its hegemony through consent production are analysed by revisiting the Gezi Park protests and the ‘National Will’ meetings in 2013. I argue that once the AKP’s neoliberal he-gemony was challenged by the Gezi protestors, the government appropriated the Turkish right’s existing ‘national will’ narrative with a neo-Ottomanist and neoliberal makeover. To unpack this argument, the article (1) retraces the Gezi protestors’ own accounts to explore how the resistance to authoritarian ne-oliberalism materialised; (2) examines how the AKP government attempted to reproduce its hegemony through consent generation at the ‘National Will’ meetings through analysing discursive strategies of the government and pro-government media.