Version 3.2

Realism of Pessimism: The Opium of Overconsumption Under Islamist Authoritarian Regime of Erdoğan

As Turkey’s general election approaches, the authoritarian-cum-conservative regime of Mr. Erdoğan, in reign for more than two decades, has been pursuing a rather unorthodox economic experiment based on cutting interest rates well below the inflation so as to pump the economy while selling foreign reserves to support the Lira. Although the question as of whether his move towards incentivizing spending to pep up the economy (with an added reference to the Islamist injunction against usury) will make him successful or not in the coming election is of vital importance, we are rather focused on how Turkish households are responding in terms of consumption decisions to this policy of cheap money. Our study therefore aims to examine the behavior of typical middle-income households through a field study. The economic strategy implemented by Mr. Erdoğan will certainly come with serious negative ecological consequences (in addition to future financial burden to households and their children). The degrowth movement argues for a shift away from such an unsustainable model of endless economic expansion and instead advocates for a more equitable and ecologically-sustainable economy. By examining—through a comprehensive qualitative research—how Turkish households are responding to the policy of cheap money, our study will contribute to the understanding of how middle-households in Turkey, even when they politically and ideologically position themselves against the conservative government of Erdoğan, might be seduced by the economic growth, and how this behavior can be shifted towards a more sustainable and equitable direction.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 12:15
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-8-4
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Hegemonic worldviews and degrowth horizon


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