Call for Papers: June–Uprising in Turkey: Background, Dynamics and Perspectives. Workshop at University of Kassel, 16 May 2014. Organisers: Anıl Al-Rebholz, Emre Arslan, Ilker Ataç, Errol Babacan, Özgür Genç, John Kannankulam, Ismail Karatepe, Bülent Küçük, Aslı E. Odman, Ulaş Şener, Özge Yaka

The mass uprising in Turkey, sparked by the occupation of Gezi Park in Istanbul, did not only trigger new debates regarding the political future of the country. It also opened up a space for critical perspectives on the politics of the last decade. Neoliberal authoritarianism, religious conservatism, media censorship and repression are the salient concepts which are used to analyse the AKP. On the other hand democratization, resistance, political participation, novel daily life practices, cultural diversity and solidarity are associated with the movement that has emanated from the Gezi Park protests. With this workshop, we aim to look into the dynamic relations between the politics and struggles of the last decade and the uprising. Which political, cultural, and socio-economic dynamics characterize the 2000s? How are they related to the current protests in Turkey? Does the protest mark a turning point in the country’s history? And if it is the case, to what extent?

In addition to the examination of the country-specific dynamics, we ask participants to explore the uprising in the framework of a global protest cycle. Occupation and encampment as a new political form of protest as well as resistance against neoliberal authoritarianism/ austerity policies appears as a common global tendency. Questions concerning the crisis of political representation, economic participation, and the practices and modes of political participation follow. How can the protests in Turkey be located in a global context?

For this purpose, with this workshop, we invite you to discuss empirical and theoretical findings on the June-Uprising as well as its background and outcomes. Case studies are welcome, and so are conceptual thematizations. Possible, albeit by no means exhaustive, topics are:

  • What are the major political, cultural and socio-economic transformation processes that need to be taken account to understand the politics of the AKP-government and the mass uprising in Turkey?
  • How is the June uprising embedded in a history of social struggles in Turkey (e.g. the relevance of new segments of working class and trade unions, critical urban movement and new social movements)?
  • What could be the main axis of a comparative perspective to analyse global social movements and struggles?
  • What are the new constitutive practices (e.g. novel daily life practices, grassroot democracy experiments, the modes of participation, domination practices, the repertoire of protest forms)?
  • Who are the actors and the social organizing bodies of the uprising?

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to tagung.juniaufstand(at)gmail.com by February 7 2014. Abstracts can be submitted either in German or in English. The presentations will be held likewise in both languages. Successful participants will be notified by February 15, 2014. The submission of full papers is due by May 1, 2014.

The workshop will take place on May 16, 2014 at the University of Kassel. We plan to publish the workshop proceedings. Further information will be posted on the workshop website. The workshop is organized in cooperation with the International Center for Development and Decent Work at the University of Kassel and the Rosa-Luxemburg Foundation Hessen.