Organized Anti-Feminism and Authoritarianism in the Middle East: The Case of Turkey

This research examines the anti-feminist policies developed and utilized by authoritarian states in the Middle East and North Africa since the early 2010s. It focuses on the political rule of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey as an exploratory case. The objective is both to expose and explain three distinct but intertwined socio-political processes that are central to the making and implementation of anti-feminist policies. These are respectively: the deepening of socio-economic crisis, the bottom-up mobilization of organized anti- feminist groups, and the ever-expanding responsiveness of state bureaucracy and decision-making cadres to those. The research will contribute to the limited conceptualization of organized anti- feminism in the Middle Eastern studies, which have so far tended to subsume anti-feminist movements and ideology either under a form of culturalist rection to colonialism/imperialism or under the cultural project of political Islam. Notwithstanding the non-negligeable affiliations between anti-feminism and Middle Eastern forms of anti-imperialism and political Islam, this research proposes a feminist political economy perspective. The research will contribute at the ever-growing academic and activist discussions at the international level on the interlinkages between authoritarianism and anti- feminism with the help of a perspective informed by Middle Eastern studies. Finally, with the help of its critical realist methodology, the research will be contributing to the current feminist-materialist quest for alternative conceptions of social emancipation.

Projektlaufzeit: 2022-2024
Förderung: Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Forschungsschwerpunkt „Dimensionen der Kategorie Geschlecht – Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung in Hessen“
Leitende Forscherin: Dr. Funda Hülagü