The pious dissidence in Turkey: contesting religious neoliberal governmentality under the AKP

Umut Korkut, Yusuf Sarfati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Turkey under the AKP governments constitutes an exemplary case for understanding how centralized religion, authoritarianism, and economic logic of neoliberalism interrelate. AKP uses state-guided religion to legitimize its neoliberal economic policies and create docile, economized citizens. This article specifically focuses on how pious Muslims resist AKP’s religious neoliberalism by focusing on actions and deliberations of Labor and Justice Platform members. Our discussion, which consists of face-to-face interviews with the members of this social movement, delineates the group’s justice-oriented, egalitarian, and pluralist orientation of Islam, and depict their dialogues with power – embodied in AKP’s domination of Islamic discourse in Turkey. We discuss how group members reinterpret religious concepts, such as kader (fate), kısmet (destiny), and sabır (patience) that the AKP uses as micro-discursive mechanisms to create economically compliant citizens. We also discuss the specific frames of resistance they develop in order to break out from the resilience and adaptation that AKP has embedded in its narratives of economy and work. These frames include a sharp criticism of market Islam, a challenge to political Islam and dissent against state Islam. Theoretically, the article refers to neoliberal governmentality and explores its contestation - an understudied concept in Foucaldian studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Nov 2019

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governmentality
Islam
Turkey
neoliberalism
justice
Religion
citizen
authoritarianism
social movement
deliberation
domination
group membership
Economic Policy
resilience
Muslim
criticism
dialogue
labor
narrative
economy

Keywords

  • Turkey
  • dissidence
  • Foucauldian studies

Cite this

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title = "The pious dissidence in Turkey: contesting religious neoliberal governmentality under the AKP",
abstract = "Turkey under the AKP governments constitutes an exemplary case for understanding how centralized religion, authoritarianism, and economic logic of neoliberalism interrelate. AKP uses state-guided religion to legitimize its neoliberal economic policies and create docile, economized citizens. This article specifically focuses on how pious Muslims resist AKP’s religious neoliberalism by focusing on actions and deliberations of Labor and Justice Platform members. Our discussion, which consists of face-to-face interviews with the members of this social movement, delineates the group’s justice-oriented, egalitarian, and pluralist orientation of Islam, and depict their dialogues with power – embodied in AKP’s domination of Islamic discourse in Turkey. We discuss how group members reinterpret religious concepts, such as kader (fate), kısmet (destiny), and sabır (patience) that the AKP uses as micro-discursive mechanisms to create economically compliant citizens. We also discuss the specific frames of resistance they develop in order to break out from the resilience and adaptation that AKP has embedded in its narratives of economy and work. These frames include a sharp criticism of market Islam, a challenge to political Islam and dissent against state Islam. Theoretically, the article refers to neoliberal governmentality and explores its contestation - an understudied concept in Foucaldian studies.",
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author = "Umut Korkut and Yusuf Sarfati",
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The pious dissidence in Turkey: contesting religious neoliberal governmentality under the AKP. / Korkut, Umut; Sarfati, Yusuf.

In: Politics, 19.11.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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N2 - Turkey under the AKP governments constitutes an exemplary case for understanding how centralized religion, authoritarianism, and economic logic of neoliberalism interrelate. AKP uses state-guided religion to legitimize its neoliberal economic policies and create docile, economized citizens. This article specifically focuses on how pious Muslims resist AKP’s religious neoliberalism by focusing on actions and deliberations of Labor and Justice Platform members. Our discussion, which consists of face-to-face interviews with the members of this social movement, delineates the group’s justice-oriented, egalitarian, and pluralist orientation of Islam, and depict their dialogues with power – embodied in AKP’s domination of Islamic discourse in Turkey. We discuss how group members reinterpret religious concepts, such as kader (fate), kısmet (destiny), and sabır (patience) that the AKP uses as micro-discursive mechanisms to create economically compliant citizens. We also discuss the specific frames of resistance they develop in order to break out from the resilience and adaptation that AKP has embedded in its narratives of economy and work. These frames include a sharp criticism of market Islam, a challenge to political Islam and dissent against state Islam. Theoretically, the article refers to neoliberal governmentality and explores its contestation - an understudied concept in Foucaldian studies.

AB - Turkey under the AKP governments constitutes an exemplary case for understanding how centralized religion, authoritarianism, and economic logic of neoliberalism interrelate. AKP uses state-guided religion to legitimize its neoliberal economic policies and create docile, economized citizens. This article specifically focuses on how pious Muslims resist AKP’s religious neoliberalism by focusing on actions and deliberations of Labor and Justice Platform members. Our discussion, which consists of face-to-face interviews with the members of this social movement, delineates the group’s justice-oriented, egalitarian, and pluralist orientation of Islam, and depict their dialogues with power – embodied in AKP’s domination of Islamic discourse in Turkey. We discuss how group members reinterpret religious concepts, such as kader (fate), kısmet (destiny), and sabır (patience) that the AKP uses as micro-discursive mechanisms to create economically compliant citizens. We also discuss the specific frames of resistance they develop in order to break out from the resilience and adaptation that AKP has embedded in its narratives of economy and work. These frames include a sharp criticism of market Islam, a challenge to political Islam and dissent against state Islam. Theoretically, the article refers to neoliberal governmentality and explores its contestation - an understudied concept in Foucaldian studies.

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