State-society relations at the margins: Control and Resistance in Turkey’s borderlands (1990-2004 and 2004-present)

There is a controversial relationship between the levels of democratization and violence. Although it is assumed that more democratic a country becomes less violence occurs, there are some counterarguments (Tezcur 2009). This project is an attempt to test the viability of whether democracy leads pacification. We will compare two time periods to evaluate the impacts of change in state strategy toward Kurds in Turkey’s borderlands. The first is the period from 1990 to 2004, which is a period of military domination. The second time period is commonly associated with political liberalization. Our preliminary research suggests that the new strategy has encountered significant challenges in borderland regions. Our aim is to explain the sources of limitation of the Turkish state’s ability to improve state-minority relations. The expected outcome is that the relationship between democratization and violence can be best understood by looking at the institutional (re) design of the borderlands.

Dilan Okcuoglu
Superviseur universitaire: 
Dr. Margaret Moore
Project Year: 
Partner University: 
Istanbul Sehir University, Istanbul, Turkey