Democracy and the Demise of National Developmentalism: Turkey in Perspective

  • Caglar Keyder
  • Dharam Ghai
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


I understand democracy to refer not only to the procedures for effecting the choice of a government, but also to the existence of civil rights, encoded in a legal framework of some durability. In this sense most of the transitions to democracy of the last decade appear incomplete. In a social context characterized by the domination of a strong state, the absence of established civil rights implies the reversibility of political arrangements such as procedural democracy. Only the entrenchment of civil rights and the construction of an inviolable private sphere would constitute a sufficient basis for the consolidation of political rights — and of a public sphere founded on these. Barrington Moore’s (1966) well-known maxim of ‘no bourgeois no democracy’ is appropriate to this discussion. While national developmentalism ruled in peripheral countries, especially when it was built upon the legacy of a strong state, as it was in the case of Turkey, neither the bourgeoisie, nor any other social group was in a position to struggle strongly for civil rights. Consequently, they could not defend democracy either. Now, with the collapse of national developmentalism, the bourgeoisie enjoy the potential for emancipating themselves from state tutelage, and, in the process, they have an interest in establishing a framework of civil rights. This possibility is the most encouraging sign for the consolidation of democracy on a strong foundation.


Civil Society State Class Public Sphere Political Elite Military Intervention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caglar Keyder
    • 1
  • Dharam Ghai
    • 2
  1. 1.State University of New YorkUSA
  2. 2.UNRISDGenevaSwitzerland

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