Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Engineering neoliberalism in the global south: Politics of competition and regulatory reform in Turkey
by Turem, Ziya Umut, Ph.D., New York University, 2010, 445; 3428052
Abstract (Summary)

How does a new technology of statehood blend into the existing structures of a state and society? At what point, does "transplantation" of a foreign technology meet "appropriation" by the "local" actors and through what mechanisms? These are the questions that form the backbone of the intellectual inquiry in this dissertation. I explore these questions by focusing on the incorporation of competition/antitrust laws into the Turkish legal system in 1994 and the creation of the "Turkish Competition Authority" (TCA) within the Turkish administrative structure in 1997. I also highlight the specificity of the current moment and ask: "What are the processes and politics of neoliberal state reform in the global south, "here and now"?" and "what are the power relations that constitute the flow of legal/economic models from the global north to the south, and how, in turn, they reproduce those power relations?

In answering these questions, I approach the establishment of the TCA and the regulatory reform as processes of becoming/unfolding, which co-evolve with, and constitute, the process of neoliberalism. This process of becoming is conditioned by multiple forces: I argue first that neoliberal state reform is born out of, and significantly shaped by, the practices and discursive structures of existing developmentalist/modernizing state in the global south. Not only is the regulatory reform advanced by an old pattern of alliance between the Turkish bureaucracy and big business, but it also is framed through traditional paradigms, those of shaping the culture of the society and modernizing economic governance. Nonetheless, the reform process is sustained by novel discourses, notably the language and authority of the economics discipline, conferring, at the same time, further legitimacy to this discipline as "science". In this mutually constitutive process the market individual is imagined and produced as the new ideal citizen. Lastly, I argue that regulatory reform opens up spaces for new legalities. As the Council of State, the traditional (highest) administrative court, supervises the TCA decisions, two different visions of administrative legality compete. This competition generates a legal/regulatory market as corporations use competition law for their economic ends, entrenching further the regulatory reform.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Harrington, Christine B.
Commitee: Brenner, Neil, Heydebrand, Wolf, Merry, Sally, Upham, Frank
School: New York University
Department: Law and Society Program
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 72/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Law, Political science, Social structure
Keywords: Competition law, Globalization, Neoliberalism, Regulation, Regulatory reform, State transformation, Turkey
Publication Number: 3428052
ISBN: 9781124332925
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