the crisis of liberal democracy, populism, agonistic democracy, democratic subjectivity, Turkey.


Drawing from poststructuralist perspective with a specific emphasis on agonistic democracy, this paper emphasises on the notion of democratic subjectivity as a possible way out of the contemporary crisis of liberal democracy. The two faces of this crisis will be elaborated in the first part. While the crisis of democracy is largely produced by the implementations of conservative, technocratic and capitalist politics that embrace minimalist approaches to democracy by reducing it into a set of rules to govern politics, it also gains visibility to the emergence of a wide range of counter-mobilisations contesting these neoliberal variants. In that respect, post-structuralist thought takes the notion crisis not only a destructive but also a productive moment as it leads to the emergence of new alternatives that mobilize contingently around democratic or authoritarian directions. The second part focuses on potential modes of democratic political subjectivities by drawing from post- structuralist elaborations on the relationship between democratic politics and ethics. Arguing that democracies’ democracy should be explained by examining the relationships between the democratic system at stake and its outsiders, I will point out two different ways that Ernesto Laclau scrutinises carefully in his theory of populism through which democratic modes of subjectivities are to be constructed. The first way is to create new ways of politics to articulate particular demands and expectations to the established regimes, which will eventually lead to minor or major transformations in identities and characters of established regimes themselves. The second way is to a search for the possibilities of a counter-hegemonic democratic movement through linking demands and expectations of excluded groups to mobilize against established regimes. I will discuss Turkey with an emphasis on the recent political controversies over the country’s new presidential government system as an exemplary case to illustrate the second possibility.



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