Benedict Pillonel / State and Civil Society in Turkey and Argentina: A Comparative Analysis

State and Civil Society in Turkey and Argentina: A Comparative Analysis

This thesis is a comparative study of the similarities and explicit differences in the way state-civil society relations evolved in Turkey and Argentina from the early nineteenth century to the present. Greater emphasis has been put on the contemporary setting as 1983-2001 has been chosen as the core period of this essay. It evaluates on the one hand the potential role civil society plays in a transition from military rule to democracy and, on the other, the positive contribution civil society performs for democratic stability. The theoretical framework is centered around civil society theories. A short historical outline of the main ideas and works of the principal authors on the subject is given and a contemporary definition is attempted. The debate is moreover enlarged as to include the major trends and discussions on both the revival of the civil society argument and the challenges caused by globalization. This thesis shows that civil society groups and social movements can be particularly influential in the critical transition period from authoritarian regime to democracy. However, the ability of civil society to contribute and stabilize the relations between the state, the market and society in a democratic framework is a far more difficult task to achieve.

(Approved by Prof. Dr. Zafer Toprak, Assoc. Prof. Aydın Babuna, Asst. Prof. Nadir Özbek)