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Sabancı University
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

 

POLITICAL SCIENCE SEMINAR SERIES

 

 

Political Crisis and Party Transformation: The Case of the AKP

 


Meltem Ersoy

(Okan University)

 

March 29, 2017, Wednesday

12:30  FASS 2034

 


Abstract: Understanding the causal processes of party transformation requires a new model, since existing literature offers insufficient mono-causal explanations. The end of the ideologically oriented Welfare Party (RP) led to the formation of the catch-all Justice and Development Party (AKP). The examination of the processes of this political transformation demonstrates how the external shock of the February 28 military intervention altered the power dynamics amongst the two dormant factions of the RP. At this critical juncture, the reformists became the dominant coalition within the party, and an opportunity for a change in leadership emerged. With the support of the rising economic classes and civil society, this leadership transition generated suitable conditions for the foundation of the new party, the AKP. As the research on this case posits, interaction among variables is crucial for understanding party change.