Capital, state, grassroots movements and the reproduction of space in Turkey: A contribution to the critique of spatial political economy
Date: 16 September 2019
University of Exeter
PhD in Management Studies
Since the mid-1990s, the capitalist world-system has been characterised by a state of dramatic flux towards an uncertain and unpredictable future under the pressure of deepening economic, geopolitical and socio-ecological crises. While there are no final solutions to these deepening crises, there are clear signs of capitalism continuously ...
Since the mid-1990s, the capitalist world-system has been characterised by a state of dramatic flux towards an uncertain and unpredictable future under the pressure of deepening economic, geopolitical and socio-ecological crises. While there are no final solutions to these deepening crises, there are clear signs of capitalism continuously aiming to reproduce itself through the restructuring of the relationships between capital, state and grassroots actors. Problematising this conundrum, this doctoral thesis scrutinises how spaces of recovery and further accumulation are produced. To understand and critique the way capitalism operates and recovers itself from recurrent crises, an interdisciplinary and explanatory framework is developed, offering a deeper theorising of the interplay between geography-making and crisis-displacement. To explain the top-down processes of space reproduction, this thesis deals with critical economic geography, sub-imperialism, international development and climate change literatures by focusing empirically on the case of Turkey’s recent expansionist turn and dramatic leap forward in energy infrastructure development. To explore the bottom-up processes of space reproduction, the thesis engages with labour geography, uneven development, regional development and class politics literatures by focusing empirically on the case of hydroelectric power plant projects and anti-dam struggles in Dȇrsim, located in Eastern Turkey. Adopting a critical realist case study approach and applying a mixed methods research by collecting both qualitative and quantitative data from multiple sources, the thesis provides a dialectical analysis of the underlying dynamics that have interactively paved the way for the interweaving spatial strategies of capital, the Turkish state and grassroots actors to fix the deepening problems they have faced. Drawing on its theoretical and empirical conclusions, this doctoral thesis expands our knowledge of the fabric of space and its re-production, addressing a number of under-researched areas in the literatures it has dealt with whilst uncovering and explaining the reality of contemporary Turkish political economy.
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