Globalisation, the European Union and Turkey: rethinking the struggle over hegemony

Uzgoren, Elif (2012) Globalisation, the European Union and Turkey: rethinking the struggle over hegemony. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The research approaches Turkish membership question to the European Union as an open-ended struggle among social forces. It aims to address whether there is a hegemonic pro-membership perspective and if any, which social forces are supporting it. Is there any alternative contesting and resisting membership and neo-liberal restructuring? Can disadvantaged groups from globalisation form a united struggle, and if not, how can we account for the lack of an alternative? At the theoretical level, it dismisses mainstream integration theories as debate is mainly stuck to the dichotomy between membership or not (form of integration), that in return is a non-debate. It introduces Gramscian historical materialist framework that paves the way to account for socio-economic content and power relations underpinning ongoing integration process. The argument proceeds by delving into a debate on theoretical coordinates regarding hegemony in Gramscian analyses and the theory of discourse introduced by Laclau and Mouffe in the Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. Ultimately, it dismisses theory of discourse and conceives class struggle in relation to discipline of capital over society within social relations of production. The empirical data relies on semi-structured interviews conducted with capital and labour, political parties, state officials and women rights/feminist groups and human rights groups. Additionally, particular sectors, textile, automotive and agriculture are examined in parallel with Gramscian historical materialist coordinates on intra-class struggle.

I shall argue that pro-membership perspective, whose socio-economic content is consolidation of neo-liberal restructuring, is hegemonic. It is pioneered by internationally oriented capital and conveyed as the means to stimulate competitiveness and economic growth and to consolidate democracy. It draws support from nationally oriented capital analogous with delocalization of production and integration to transnational production via outsourcing and contract manufacturing. Yet, it is possible to identify two rival class strategies that contest neo-liberal pro-membership project, neo-mercantilism that is supported by nationally oriented labour, nationalist political parties, centre-left political parties and Ha-vet (No-Yes) that is underpinned by internationally oriented labour, social democratic fraction among the Left, particular women rights groups and human rights groups. On the one hand, position of social forces underpinning neo-mercantilism is weakened in economy and ideas that echo import-substitution policy under Keynesian welfare state regime and developmentalist state in periphery are defeated analogous with globalisation and neo-liberal restructuring. The only criticism of neo-mercantilist project remains on national sensitivities. Put bluntly, the critique is anti-imperialist though not anti-capitalist. At the final analysis, membership is interpreted in relation to modernization and westernization with a populist discourse. On the other hand, although social forces within Ha-vet read European Union as a capitalist economic integration model, they conceive internationalisation of labour and European Social Model as the only viable mechanism to struggle against globalization and transnationalisation of production. Moreover, European integration is received positively as a democratization project. Ultimately, neither neo-mercantilism that supports ‘membership on equal terms and conditions’, nor Ha-vet that adopts the motto of ‘another globalisation and Europe is possible’, stands as an overall alternative.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Bieler, A.
Wenman, M.
Keywords: globalization, globalisation, turkey, eu, european union, hegemony
Subjects: J Political science > JZ International relations
D History - General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
Item ID: 12745
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2013 10:42
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 15:00

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