The causes and the consequences of the patriarchal state: Evidence from Turkey

Kocabıçak, Ece (2023). The causes and the consequences of the patriarchal state: Evidence from Turkey. Women's Studies International Forum, 98(May-June), article no. 102744.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2023.102744

Abstract

Drawing on the case of Turkey and using qualitative and quantitative analyses, this paper challenges the ungendered accounts of the state and extends gender regime scholarship (1) by differentiating two major forms of the patriarchal state character, and (2) by investigating the significance of the multiple state agendas, (3) de-democratisation, and (4) cis-gender heterosexual family in upholding the patriarchal character of the state. By focusing on the case of Turkey's withdrawal from the İstanbul Convention, the paper shows that the patriarchal collective subject successfully adopts the racist state agenda - as exclusively Turkish and Sunni-Muslim. Furthermore, under the conditions in which the de-democratisation process has excluded women from public decision making, a particular group of elite men increases the influence of the patriarchal collective subject over the state. Meanwhile, the biological essentialist accounts of sex and gender divide the feminist struggle as well as weakening its capacity to reveal the significance of the cis-gender heterosexual family for state formation.

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