Non-public actors in Turkish policy-making

International Workshop

IFEA, Istanbul, March 8, 2016


Convenors: Elise Massicard, CNRS/CERI and Claire Visier, Tübitak/Université Galatasaray

Numerous works have underlined the recent transformations of public policies and state intervention over the globe, together with what is commonly called globalization or the diffusion of norms and patterns of policies. These global transformations are often considered as the signs of a liberalization or a retreat of the state from the regulation of a number of social sectors. Starting from her work mainly in Africa, Hibou (2004) has argued that after neoliberal reforms and an important wave of privatization the state intervened in the economy more and more through the recourse to intermediaries in policy implementation, therefore resulting into new forms of indirect rule. In that respect, she uses the Weberian term of ‘discharge’ (Verpachtung or Überweisung).

The work we conducted in the framework of a collective and interdisciplinary project on patterns of state policies in Turkey (Aymes, Gourisse, Massicard 2015) also shows the renewed importance of forms of indirect government in Turkey in the last few decades. Studies carried out on TOKİ (Pérouse 2015), on the economic power of the Turkish army (Corte-Real Pinto 2012), on the role of different actors from what is commonly called ‘civil society’ (NGOs, labour unions) in the reforms and government patterns encouraged by the European Union (Visier 2015, Scalbert-Yücel and Girard 2015), on the role of parties in public policies or on figures situated on the boundaries of the state like muhtars (Massicard 2015); as well as recent works on Turkish foreign policy (Benhaim fortcoming) shed light on the importance of non-public actors, while at the same time showing a great plurality of involved actors and relationships to state actors. Some of these works insist in the historical grounding of some of these partnership in the long run (on the subcontracting of legitimate violence, see Dorronsoro 2006, Gourisse 2013), which encourages to question possible historical continuities.

Among them, several studies have shed light on the way the recent reforms of the Turkish state towards new public management (workforce reduction, efficiency, etc.) went along with not a retreat of the state in some sectors, contrary to what is commonly assumed (Eder 2010); but, on the contrary, with an intervention of public policy in some sectors where they were less involved in the past (welfare, housing, health, transportation) (Kadirbeyoğlu and Sümer 2012, Massicard 2014). Therefore, the recourse to private intermediaries does not always imply only a new working pattern for public institutions, or a retreat of the state, but may also go along with a new involvement in some sectors – may even encourage it or make it possible. This statement encourages us to question the relationship between government patterns and perimeters of public action. We would like to question the relationships established and exchanges taking place between public institutions and private actors, and the government patterns that emerge. This statement also invites us to open the “blackbox” of the state apparatus and analyse the intervention of not public actors both in policy-making, i.e. in the very production of policies, and policy implementation.

The studies on public policies are often compartmentalized among sectors and hardly enter in a dialogue. The aim of this workshop is to explore the dynamics of the non-public partners of policies in Turkey, without a specific sectorial entry. The participants are expected to present empirically grounded case studies that can nourish common reflections.



9h30-10h: Introduction

Elise Massicard (CNRS/CERI) and Claire Visier (Université Galatasaray)

10h00-12h30 – Session 1 : Expertise as a field of intervention of non-public actors

Discussants: Jean-François Pérouse (IFEA), Claire Visier (Université Galatasaray)

The brokering role of transnational “migration experts” in Turkey. Reformist administrators and International Organizati ons entrepreneurs in the production of migration policies

Elen Le Chêne, Aix-Marseille University

Turkish expertise of Middle Eastern Policy: an intellectual brokerage enterprise

Jean Baptiste Le Moulec, University of Aix-Marseille

Intra-state competition and the reconfiguration of the field of expertise on Iraqi Kurdistan in Turkey (2002-2012)

Yohanan Benhaim, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Lunch break

14h-17h30 Session 2: Patterns of interaction between public and non-public actors in policy making

Discussants: Olivier Gajac (IFEA/Centre Emile Durkheim), Elise Massicard (CNRS/CERI), Noemi Levy-Aksu (Bogaziçi University)

The role of religiously motivated associations in social assistance

Ipek Göçmen, Bogazici University

Collaboration Gone Awry: The Formation of Women’s Shelters as Public Institutions in Turkey

Berna Ekal, Bilgi University

The coproduction of a public offer of participation in Turkey

Melike Yalcin-Riollet, EHESS

Governors as new agents of governance in Turkey

Ulaş Bayraktar, Mersin University and Cemil Yıldızcan, Galatasaray University


Registration (compulsory):

This workshop is being held through funding from the French National Research Agency [Agence Nationale de la Recherche] within the programme “Trans-acting Matters: Areas and Eras of a (Post-)Ottoman Globalization” [Matières à transfaire. Espaces-temps d’une globalisation (post-)ottomane] (ANR-12-GLOB-003) and with the support of the Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes (Istanbul).

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