Party change and cleavage shifting in the global South: the case of Ecevit's CHP in Turkey

Ugur-Cinar, Meral and Acikgoz, Ali and Esen, Berk (2023) Party change and cleavage shifting in the global South: the case of Ecevit's CHP in Turkey. Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea . ISSN 1468-3857 (Print) 1743-9639 (Online) Published Online First

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This article explores the prospects of and limits to political party change through a case study of the Republican People’s Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP) under the leadership of Bülent Ecevit in the 1960s and 1970s. We demonstrate how the CHP, via a new generation of politicians led by Ecevit, gradually transformed its ideological programme and cadres in an effort to turn into a social democratic mass party, thereby maximizing its voter base in the 1973 and 1977 elections against the currents of the extant socio-political faultlines of Turkish politics. We claim that the potential for party change depends on the interplay between three factors: political entrepreneurs, the prevailing preferences and structures of a society, and the extant institutional setup. We conclude by discussing the implications of the findings for the prospects of party change as well as for the present and future trajectory of the CHP.
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: CHP; Ecevit; political entrepreneurship; Political party change; social cleavages; Turkey
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Academic programs > Political Science
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Berk Esen
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2023 13:29
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2023 13:29

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