Independent judiciary that has the power to control and constrain the power holders is one of the key targets of populist regimes. In this regard, across various different countries we increasingly encounter numerous examples of populist governments who attempt to weaken the judiciary and take it under control. Removing or threatening to remove judges from office, imprisoning some of them based on false charges, claiming that legal decisions are politically motivated, accusing judges of being corrupt, non-compliance with the court rulings, and court-packing are some of these strategies that can be defined as court-curbing. This project aims to investigate court-curbing strategies employed in Turkey under the AKP government (2002-2020). In this regard, we aim to collect data on all developments that can be categorized as court-curbing. By conducting a content analysis of certain media outlets we aim to identify and categorize the court-curbing strategies and through discourse analysis of the AKP representatives we seek to explain how the government justifies the use of these court-curbing practices. Students will be asked to collect data from Turkish media outlets and code it under certain categories. Therefore ability to read and understand Turkish is required. During this project, students will learn about the emerging literature on court- packing, court-curbing and autocratic judicial strategies. No prior training in research methods is required but we are looking for students interested in political science, specifically judicial politics. The instructions will be provided by project supervisors Oya Yegen, Sabancı University and Aylin Aydin Cakir, Vrije Universiteit.
Faculty Department of Project Supervisor:
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
Number of Students: