Hegemony in the Making: TÜSİAD’s Hegemonic Role in the Context of Turkey’s EU Membership Process

Özge Yaka


This article aims at a critical contribution to neo-Gramscian political economy literature on agency of transnational capitalist class in shaping the global socio-economic order through the empirical analysis of hegemonic agency of TÜSİAD (Turkish Industry and Business Association) in formation of EU membership as a hegemonic project in Turkey in the first half of the 2000s. Drawing Poulantzas close to Gramsci and using his distinction between the power bloc and the dominated classes/groups, it introduces the notion of double moments of hegemony, which marks a comprehensive and multi-dimensional understanding of hegemony as a process involving two interrelated moments – within the power bloc and over a class-divided society. This conceptual contribution helps us to depict the political agency of transnational capitalist class in the making of the neoliberal mode of regulation, beyond its economic role in shaping the regime of accumulation. This conception not only provides an alternative against the conventional notion of hegemony within the neo-Gramscian IPE as limited with the processes, alliances, compromises and struggles within the power bloc but also contributes to the broader field of Gramscian studies in terms of analysing the strategic-agential dimension in the making of hegemony, focusing on the (material and discursive) means and mechanisms in which hegemony is produced and maintained. A Gramscian analysis of TÜSİAD as a hegemonic agent, a political party and a collective organic intellectual builds on an empirical research on those means and mechanisms utilized in shaping the EU membership as a hegemonic project.

Keywords: TÜSİAD, Turkey-EU relations, hegemony, hegemonic project, neo-Gramscian IPE.

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