Social profiles of local party elites in Turkey

Kocapınar Yıldırım, Gülnur (2018) Social profiles of local party elites in Turkey. In: Sayarı, Sabri and Musil, Pelin and Demirkol, Özhan, (eds.) Party Politics in Turkey: A Comparative Perspective. Routledge, London, pp. 136-154. ISBN 9781138207547 (Print) 9781315461885 (Online)

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Introduction Eldersveld (1989) defines political elites in a broad way by including both the ones occupying high positions and those functioning at local levels.1 As party subunits, local party elites (i.e. local party chairs) occupy important positions, influence the functioning of the parties and affect politics. More specifically, these local party leaders are supposed to '‘mobilize voters, espouse the party’s ideology, help recruit the party’s leaders and workers, dispense the party’s favors, and maintain a viable party organization all the while’' (Bowman and Boynton 1966a, 121). In Argentina, for example, provincial party leaders strongly influence legislative nominations so incumbent deputies need to maintain good relationships with these local party leaders for the sake of their careers (Jones et al. 2001, 1-10). These local party elites may shape the characteristics of political parties, and their interactions with the electorate and various societal organizations. Prevailing general theories on political elites assume that the social characteristics of elites, their recruitment patterns and the features of the society are related to each other (Bottomore 1964). Changes and continuities in elite recruitment patterns are regarded as a measure of social change and vice versa (Hoffman-Lange 1987, 27). The social backgrounds of elites and their recruitment patterns enable us to better understand a political system in general as those characteristics give clues about the '‘system’s homogeneity and dominant values, about elite-elite relationships’' (Edinger and Searing 1967, 430). Similarly, the characteristics of political leaders are useful in explaining and predicting their attitudes and behaviours (Quandt 1969, 1). For example, Matthews (1954) suggests that legislative elites’ voting behaviour on certain issues can be quite accurately predicted by analysing their social backgrounds. In short, the social backgrounds or profiles of both national and local party elites may offer significant evidence about a country’s politics in general.
Item Type: Book Section / Chapter
Divisions: Foundations Development
Depositing User: Gülnur Kocapınar Yıldırım
Date Deposited: 25 May 2023 12:22
Last Modified: 25 May 2023 12:22

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