Transformation of sovereignty discourse in Turkish politics
Domaniç, Seda Saadet (2007) Transformation of sovereignty discourse in Turkish politics. [Thesis]
This dissertation offers an analysis of the transformation of sovereignty discourse in Turkey and illustrates the various discursive utilizations of the concept in connection with purposes of competing ideologies in turning points of Turkish politics. Rather than discussing whether or not sovereignty is obsolete in the face of growing globalization and fragmentation, this study underlines the need to reappraise the implications of the role that sovereignty plays in conditioning the coherence of opposing political ideologies. To this end, four critical ‘moments’ are studied by employing a discourse-theoretic approach: dislocation brought by the Ottoman disintegration; creation of the Turkish nationstate; disruption engendered by globalization during the post-1980 Turkey; transformation unleashed by Turkey’s ‘Europeanization’ during the 2000s. By illustrating the historico-political production/reproduction of sovereignty in relation to ideologies of Ottomanism, Turkish Nationalism, Populism, Statism, Second Republicanism and Europeanism, the findings refute the conventional view that presents sovereignty as a fixed, neutral and timeless organizing principle of modern politics. Instead, it is shown that sovereignty acts as an empty-signifier embodying a broad plurality of meanings to allow power blocs to produce political frontiers and uphold associated antagonisms. It is argued that only by deconstructing this highly politicized and contentious nature of the concept that we can start to question the unconditional, absolute and state-centric doctrine of sovereignty prevailing in Turkey.
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