Northwestern University

Wed 12:00 PM

An unhappy marriage of neoliberalism and neo-mercantilism: Political economy of Turkey in a double bind

When: Wednesday, March 1, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM  

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Ayca Alemdaroglu   847.467.6148

Group: Keyman Modern Turkish Studies (Buffett Institute)

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Yahya M. Madra, Visiting Associate Professor of Economics, Drew University, NJ.

Economic commentators divide Justice and Development Party reign into two periods: the golden years of 2002-2008 and the lackluster years of 2009 onwards. This periodization may need to be qualified (and not only due to recently changed statistical definitions of Turkstat) by adding a third period starting roughly in the aftermath of Gezi uprising in 2013, with the explicit introduction by Erdoğan of the concept of “interest rate lobby” into the public discourse on political economy. While I propose to name this new orientation in economic politics neo-mercantilism (in reference to its emphasis on national economy, its critique of global financial system, its desire to diversify away Europe and search for forging bilateral trade agreements, etc.), I do not claim that the JDP is willing to give up its ties with the neoliberal international order just yet. Rather, as the saying goes, JDP wants to have his cake and eat it too. Nevertheless, this unhappy marriage between neoliberalism and neo-mercantilism, in the absence of a convincing overarching narrative and increasingly unfavorable global economic conditions (in particular Fed’s most recent decision to follow a tighter monetary policy), has become increasingly untenable and leads the economy into a downward spiral. Drawing on economic data and using discourse analysis, this paper, rather than pathologizing this neo-mercantilist re-orientation, situates it in a global reconfiguration of the capital-nation-state nexus in response to the deepening ecological and economic crises of world capitalism.

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