A Gramscian Reading of the Attack on Women’s Freedom and on their Role in Establishing Peace and Security in Illiberal Democracies


The current Turkish government has failed to realize a holistic framework for gender equality. Its reluctance to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on WPS agenda proves its essentialist and victimhood-oriented approach. This article tries to show how this approach has determined its political project—authoritarian, patriarchal, and conservative-confessional New Turkey—by concentrating on the policies issued by the Justice and Development Party (hereafter AKP) during the last twenty years. As a result of this project’s implementation, women in Turkey and their CSOs have been negatively affected, especially after the 2016 crisis and the AKP adoption of increasingly sectarian/repressive policies.

To shed light on the ongoing feminist-women/government tension, this article looks at the role of AKP’s ‘organic intellectuals’ who operate within the Turkish society to support the government’s project, relying on Gramscian and Marcusean insights while analysing AKP’s authoritarianism according to Gramsci’s Caesarist-Bonapartist model. Its organic intellectuals consolidate this traditional and religious vision of women in society. By putting women at the centre of religious discourses and making them a bearer of moral or ethical principles, the government reproduces, approves and reasserts their second-class position within society.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v8n1p81

Keywords: AKP; Gramsci; gender; Caesarism-Bonapartism; WPS



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