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The Failure of Popular Constitution Making in Turkey
Regressing Towards Constitutional Autocracy


Part of Comparative Constitutional Law and Policy

Felix Petersen, Zeynep Yanasmayan, Ertuğ Tombus, Şule Özsoy Boyunsuz, Burcu Baykurt, Gözde Böcü, Oya Yegen, Maria Abad Andrade
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  • Date Published: January 2020
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108497626

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About the Authors
  • This book offers an in-depth account of the failure of popular constitution making in Turkey from 2011 to 2013, which was an anomaly in the otherwise authoritarian history of Turkish constitutional politics. The authors demonstrate that, even in unfavorable conditions, constitution making that brings together different stakeholders can potentially lead to significant improvement of constitutional regimes. Long-standing societal divides regarding cultural and religious diversity, which were evident in political parties' negotiations, played a significant role in the failure of the process in Turkey. Most notably, the ruling AKP's insistence on establishing a presidential system - supported by neither other political parties nor the public - destabilized the process and exacerbated distrust among the drafters. Unfavorable procedures, particularly an unrealistic deadline and the unanimity principle, prevented consensus and allowed the AKP to hijack the process. The process was a missed opportunity for democratization before Turkey plunged into full-fledged democratic backsliding.

    • Focuses on the failure of constitution-making processes so that readers may draw lessons on conditions that are conducive to failure
    • Looks at popular constitution-making methods in a largely authoritarian setting to help readers understand basic conditions of popular constitution making and to distinguish democratic from authoritarian constitution making
    • Explores an extremely understudied period of Turkish constitutional history to not only fill in a gap in the literature, but also to help citizens understand what happened
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108497626
    • length: 426 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 157 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction: Introduction Felix Petersen and Zeynep Yanasmayan
    1. Explaining the failure of popular constitution making in Turkey (2011–13) Felix Petersen and Zeynep Yanaşmayan
    Part II. Contextualizing Constitution Making in Turkey:
    2. The people and its embodiment: authoritarian foundations of constitutions in Turkey Ertuğ Tombuş
    3. Regime cycles, constitution making, and the political system question in Ottoman and Turkish constitutional developments Şule Özsoy Boyunsuz
    4. Illiberal media and popular constitution making in Turkey Burcu Baykurt
    Part III. Debating and Drafting the Constitution in 2011–13
    5. Debating state organization principles in the constitutional Conciliation Commission Gözde Böcü and Felix Petersen
    6. Glass half full: drafting fundamental rights in the Turkish constitution-making process (2011–13) Oya Yegen and Zeynep Yanaşmayan
    7. Countermajoritarian institutions in Turkish constitution making Maria Abad Andrade
    8. Debating the amendment-making rule: the rigidity vs. flexibility debate in the Turkish constitution-making process Oya Yegen.

  • Editors

    Felix Petersen, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Felix Petersen is the Minerva Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Richard Koebner Center for German History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interests include modern political thought, constitutional politics, theory of democracy, and German and Turkish politics. He is a co-author of the forthcoming book The Constitutional Court of Turkey: Judicial Politics between Authoritarianism and Democracy.

    Zeynep Yanaşmayan, Max-Planck-Institut for Social Anthropology
    Zeynep Yanasmayan is a senior research fellow and coordinator of the Max Planck Society-funded research initiative 'The Challenges of Migration, Integration and Exclusion' at the Department of Law and Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Her research interests include migration and citizenship studies, governance of religious diversity, law and society and Turkish politics. She is the author of The Migration of Highly Educated Turkish Citizens to Europe: From Guestworkers to Global Talent (2019), and co-editor of Belief, Law and Politics: What Future for Secular Europe? (2014).


    Felix Petersen, Zeynep Yanasmayan, Ertuğ Tombus, Şule Özsoy Boyunsuz, Burcu Baykurt, Gözde Böcü, Oya Yegen, Maria Abad Andrade

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