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Modeling Political Performance of Islamist and Islamist-Rooted Parties in Turkey

Ali Akarca ()

No 768, Working Papers from Economic Research Forum

Abstract: The results of seventeen Turkish elections for parliament and local administrations between 1975 and 2011 and societal developments are studied to understand the factors that determine the political performance of Islamist and Islamist-rooted parties, both while in office and in opposition. A vote equation is built for this purpose which takes into account all of the key factors mentioned in the economic voting literature, such as strategic voting, cost of ruling, incumbency advantage and the economy, as well as impacts of party closures and transformations. The results show that, unlike other parties, the Islamist and Islamist-rooted parties are net beneficiaries of strategic voting not only when they are in opposition but also while in power (except in local elections). On the other hand, the cost for ruling is higher for them. However, how they are affected by their economic performance is similar to that of other incumbent parties. The Islamist parties have adapted over time to party closures, eventually rendering them ineffective. The transformation of the AKP, the current ruling party, from Islamist to conservative democrat, combined with other center-right parties deserting their anti-establishment positions, led to massive vote transfers during 1999-2011 from the latter to the former.

Pages: 23
Date: 2013-09, Revised 2013-09
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Published by The Economic Research Forum (ERF)

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Journal Article: Modeling political performance of Islamist and Islamist-rooted parties in Turkey (2015) Downloads
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