Turkey in the Global Economy

Neoliberalism, Global Shift and the Making of a Rising Power

Bülent Gökay

£65.00  |  $
ISBN 9781788210836
£22.99  |  $
ISBN 9781788210843
£22.99  |  $
ISBN 9781788210850
224 pages   |  234 x 156mm   |  10 December 2020


"This is a superb long durée perspective on the political economy of contemporary Turkey over the last two decades, one we ignore at our own peril."  – Vassilis K. Fouskas, University of East London, and founding editor of the Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies

"Using insights gathered from world systems analysis and global shift approaches, this book departs from Eurocentric lenses and casts a critical eye on Turkey’s geopolitical and economic positionality in a highly informative and engaging manner. It consequently fills an important gap in Turkish studies, global political economy and international relations." – Tunc Aybak, Middlesex University

"This is an important book. It shows us the developmental trajectory of Turkey over the last two decades. Similar to the impact of China, middle-sized rising powers like Turkey have huge potential to shift the global power structure with profound implications. Professor Gokay reminds us in this book that despite the destructive strategies of neoliberalism there are opportunities for global powers to collaborate in the pursuit of their own development and growth strategies." – Qingan Huang, Guangdong University of Finance and Economics

"Turkey in the Global Economy examines the transformation of the country over the past two decades, from an underdeveloped and weak economic power into an important regional player with a dynamic economy and a significant role in global networks. In laying out this trajectory, Bulent Gokay deploys two optics. On the one hand, he offers a broad view of Turkey in the context of what he refers to as the 'global shift' of political and financial power from the developed West and North to the countries of the East and South. This shift is most apparent in the emergence of the BRIC quartet, but Gokay argues that it opened up vital opportunities for other middle-range regional powers such as Turkey as well, allowing them to enhance their regional and global influence. At the same time, the book provides a more granular focus on the political and economic transformation of Turkey itself. This took the form of a wide-ranging neoliberal reform aimed at creating an export-oriented industrial sector and restructuring Turkey's financial system. These external and internal processes are examined against the backdrop of a domestic political scene in Turkey dominated by the AKP party of Recep Erdogan, who paradoxically sought to advance the neoliberal agenda while co-opting traditionalist-Islamist elements into Turkey’s ruling elite for the first time in its modern history. The book is a stimulating work of impressive scholarship and considerable originality. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the development of modern Turkey and the Middle East, and it is very highly recommended for those desiring a more synthetic and sophisticated understanding of the dynamics that have reshaped global geoeconomics and geopolitics in the new millennium." – Mark Bassin, Center for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University, Sweden


Since the late-1990s Turkey has emerged as a significant economic power. Never colonized and straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, it plays a strategically important role in a region of increasing instability.

Bülent Gökay examines Turkey’s remarkable domestic political and economic transformation over the past two decades within the context of broader regional and global changes. By situating the story of Turkey’s economic growth within an analysis of the structural changes and shifts in the world economy, the book provides new insights into the functioning of Turkey’s political economy and the successes and failures of its ruling party’s economic management.



Part I Global shift and the world economy
1. An emerging market economy
2. The Turkish economy in the twentieth century

Part II The AKP 1: populist neoliberalism
3. Deep financial and economic crisis: Turkey prepares the ground for the AKP
4. The “golden age”: stable growth, fiscal discipline and “heaven” for foreign direct investment
5. Crisis at the global centre

Part III The AKP 2: authoritarian neoliberalism
6. The global financial crisis and Turkey’s response
7. Turkish foreign policy: the Arab Spring and the Syrian catastrophe
8. The Taksim Gezi protests and the authoritarian turn
9. The 2016 failed coup and crackdown

Part IV The crisis of global hegemony
10. The US–Turkey stand-off, trade wars and new partners
11. Turkey and uncertain predictions for the world economy
12. The Covid-19 pandemic
13. Towards a conclusion: some key trends

Author Information

Bülent Gökay is Professor of International Relations at Keele University. He is chair of the editorial committee of the Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies and Founding Editor of the Journal of Global Faultlines. His books include Eastern Europe Since 1970 (2006), Soviet Eastern Policy and Turkey, 1920–1991 (2006) and (with Ben Fowkes) Unholy Alliance: Muslims and Communists in Post-Transition States (2011).

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