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Governing Anxiety, Trauma and Crisis: The Political Discourse on Ontological (In)Security after the July 15 Coup Attempt in Turkey

Adisonmez, Umut Can, Onursal, Recep (2020) Governing Anxiety, Trauma and Crisis: The Political Discourse on Ontological (In)Security after the July 15 Coup Attempt in Turkey. Middle East Critique, 29 (3). pp. 291-306. ISSN 1943-6149. (doi:10.1080/19436149.2020.1770445) (KAR id:84468)

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Concern about the ontological security of the state has been at the center of Turkish politics since the beginning of the republican regime in 1923, shaping both the domestic and the foreign policy of Turkey. Taking the July 15 coup attempt in 2016 as a case, this article critically analyzes the political discourse on ontological (in)security in Turkey. The discussion begins by locating the discourse on the survival of the state [beka meselesi in Turkish] in a historical and sociopolitical context. Building on this discussion, the article investigates how unprecedented political instability caused by the failed coup attempt created a political space for the ruling Justice and Development Party to re-articulate the state’s survival discourse and related security practices. The article argues that governing elites followed a double strategy. On one hand, they aimed at simplifying the sociopolitical space with a ‘one nation, one state, one homeland, and one flag’ discourse; on the other hand, they actively prevented public contestation by keeping the political dimension of the coup at bay. To advance this argument, the article develops a discursive-theoretical framework by cross-fertilizing Ontological Security Theory with Post-foundational Discourse Theory.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/19436149.2020.1770445
Uncontrolled keywords: July 15 Coup Attempt, Justice and Development Party, Ontological Security, Turkey
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Umut Can Adisonmez
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2020 09:53 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2021 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Adisonmez, Umut Can:
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