The political incorporation of anti-system religious parties: the case of Turkish political Islam (1994–2011)
Altınordu, Ateş (2016) The political incorporation of anti-system religious parties: the case of Turkish political Islam (1994–2011). Qualitative Sociology, 39 (2). pp. 147-171. ISSN 0162-0436 (Print) 1573-7837 (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11133-016-9325-8
When and how do anti-system religious parties become incorporated into the political system of their countries? In recent decades, social scientists have sought answers to this question within the framework of the moderation literature. While moderation theory identifies key factors that influence party leaders’ willingness to seek political incorporation, it is less successful in explaining the contingent outcome of the incorporation process. This article develops an alternative analytical framework for the study of political incorporation grounded in social performance theory. Through a case study of Islamic parties in Turkey between 1994 and 2011, the author demonstrates that political incorporation is as much a function of successful cultural performances on the public stage as the right alignment of institutional incentives and sanctions. As a result of the Justice and Development Party leaders’ successful projection of a mainstream political identity between 2002 and 2011, secularist state elites in Turkey failed to establish legitimate grounds for a political intervention, which in turn provided the party with the time and opportunity to remove the institutional barriers to its incorporation.
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