THE MULTIVOCALITY OF TURKISH POLITICAL ISLAM AND ITS INFLUENCE ON THE COUNTRY’S DEMOCRATIZATION
Słowa kluczowemultivocality, political theology, Welfare Party, AKP
The last decades of the 20th century and the beginnings of the 21st century have witnessed a global resurgence of religion and an increase of its influence on politics worldwide. Therefore, political scientists have started to try to assess the influence of the religious factor on the democratization processes, both in democratizing countries and in established democracies. Several points of view have been put forward, regarding religion as a factor hindering democratization, distinguishing between democracy-friendly and democracy-hostile religions, or regarding every religious tradition as a multivocal corpus of different messages, which can be interpreted in the political field both in pro-democratic and in anti-democratic terms. This contribution adopts this latter point of view in its analysis of the influence of political Islam on Turkey’s democratization processes. Particularly, it shows that political Islam has favoured democratization processes whenever its leaders have not refused social and political pluralism, while it has obstructed such processes when its leaders were unable to emancipate themselves from religious organizations and from the bulk of their Islamist social base, which has left their commitment divided between them and democratic ideals.
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