Looking Beyond Neoliberalism: Tragedy of Turkish Peasantry and the New Populism
By looking at the impacts of policy reforms in sugar beets, tobacco and animal husbandry this paper examines the domestic and foreign dynamics in the demise of peasant farming in Turkey since 1980s. While we will identify the role of neoliberal reforms adopted under various governments during this period, we will argue that neoliberalism has become a misnomer, an overgeneralized explanation for complex political processes.
The paper argues that by looking at different sectors and policies, we can examine the complex factors behind depeasantization. The paper will explore the complex convergence of actions and priorities of political elite, domestic bourgeoise, transnational capital industrial and financial capital in depeasantization. It is also argued that changes in policies would also trigger complex new dynamics with unintended consequences triggering a series of new developments.
The paper also explores the role of nationalism and populist politics in political legitimacy and stability by diverting the attention of the victims of the “neoliberal” assault to presumed internal and external enemies, a process that has been happening in many parts of the world in recent decades.