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Cosmopolis lunch seminar with Tolgahan Aydıner (Pamukkale University,Turkey): Local Entrepreneurship and the Rise of New Urban Politics: The case of the city of Denizli in Turkey

15 February 2018 , 12.00h-13.30h VUB - Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Building F, Room F 4.66

The seminar will try to focus on the attempts to explain the transformation of urban politics of Denizli with the concept of new urban politics by Cox (1993) and local entrepreneurship literature (Painter, 1998; Brenner, 2004; Harvey, 1989; Letiner & Sheppard, 1998; Wood, 1998; Jessop, 1998). First, when we emphasize new urban politics, we must state what kind of difference is between ‘old’ and ‘new’.

Urban politics, in the classical sense, was an important focus on the urban public services, local elections and administration of cities with bureaucratic ways. However the state rescaling after 1980s affected the capital accumulation and urban governance. Public – private partnership in the service provision, flexibility in the local decision-making process with friendly business environment, reductions in the welfare policies and resource transfer to private sector, neoliberal infrastructure investments and paradigm shift of national state from urban governments to urban governance have caused the change the nature or urban politics. In this context, object of the study (the city of Denizli) is an interesting example. First of all, Denizli is one of the expert centers of Turkey and called ‘Anatolian Tigers’ and ‘new industry focus’ in the literature. In other words, Denizli is one of Turkey's leading cities with its’ local entrepreneur character. Secondly, the classical sense of local politics in Denizli had emerged in the experience of ‘social democratic municipality’ between the 1973s – 1980s. But the local politics of Denizli has also changed in similar ways through the processes like in both Europe and Turkey mentioned above with the paradigm shift from Keynesian welfare national state to the Schumpeterian workfare state (Jessop, 1992; Jessop, 1994; Peck & Tickell, 1994). By this way, the main assumption here is that there is a link between the local entrepreneurship of Denizli and the construction of new urban politics of Denizli. The seminar will try to find out how Denizli’s local politics have changed with reference those titles: a.) transformation of local representation: changes in the local councils with reference to the profiles of local city councils’ members and transformation of the discourses of the Mayors, b.) transformation in the labor market and the profiles of working class, c.) State rescaling of Turkey and its’ consequences on urban politics d.) Building new subjects (consensus of capital owners in local politics’ decision making) – ‘Denizli Platform’.

Speaker: Tolgahan Aydıner

Tolgahan Aydıner is a research assistant at Pamukkale University in Turkey. He received his bachelor degree at the department of Political Science and Public Administration from METU (Middle East Technical University) with three honors and a high honor degree. Mr. Aydıner completed his MSc (2014) at Pamukkale University and the master thesis focused on the natural disaster governance of Turkey. My. Aydıner is still a PhD candidate and his interest areas are urban political theory, urban governance and local governments.