Is it none of their business? Business and democratization, the case of Turkey
Özel, Işık (2013) Is it none of their business? Business and democratization, the case of Turkey. Democratization, 20 (6). pp. 1081-1116. ISSN 1351-0347 (Print) 1743-890X (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13510347.2012.674369
This article explains how the Turkish business' regime preferences have evolved from pro-authoritarian to pro-democratic in the context of dual transitions, in response to changes in incentive structures shaped by domestic, regional and international parameters. It particularly focuses on big business and highlights the central role that greater exposure to international competition during the course of opening up and liberalization played in the evolution of its regime preferences. The article suggests that the central mechanism which has led to the regime preference change is socialization by strategic calculation facilitated by business' increasing incorporation into transnational networks. It asserts that the Turkish big business' experience is particularly interesting because international exposure not only created new opportunities for big business, but also new divisions and rivalries within the business community. These new rivals formed flourishing alliances with the government, with their accompanying claims to power that challenged the big business' previous hegemony in accessing state resources. In the process, big business' fear of losing its privileged status to rival business groups and the resulting uncertainties led big business to associate democratization with higher benefits, as they became increasingly aware of the link between democratization and diminished uncertainties, through their interaction with transnational business networks. Consequently, big business consolidated its pro-democratic stance as shifting domestic alliances enhanced the need for diminishing uncertainties, while internationalization along with the prospect of EU membership increased the cost of status quo.
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