The University of Arizona

The post-politics of the green economy in Turkey: re-claiming the future?

Ethemcan Turhana, Arif Cem Gündoğan


Abstract The green economy is often defined as an economic configuration that results in improved human wellbeing and social equity, while reducing (or at least decoupling from) environmental risks. It is elusive, and can be read as a new way of ensuring and maintaining capital accumulation accompanied by neoliberal austerity policies, where a green rationale is required to maintain the structural roots of the global political economy. As such, critics often identify its self-contradictory nature, in giving legitimacy and coherence to a number of public policies. This article critically examines the post-politicisation of the green economy, by tracing its social construction and meaning-making. In doing so, it follows the green economy debate in the post-politicization of the environment in Turkey, a rapidly developing country with significant socio-ecological challenges. The analysis suggests that the green economy will become more important at Turkey tries to meet international environmental agreements. The article sheds light on its preparatory report for the Rio+20 Summit, titled Turkey's sustainable development report: claiming the future 2012. We find that the green economy serves as a useful discursive tool to legitimize a statefacilitated, market-driven, full-frontal assault on ecosystems in Turkey, particularly in the energy sector. We argue that a clear rejection of such framings and the development of alternatives to postpoliticization, are the two key challenges facing the environmental movement in the country. Key Words: green economy, Turkey

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