Radical Disobedience: An Agonistic Praxis Against Anti-Pluralism

 Özgür Yalçın  Philosophy, University of Amsterdam | Radical Disobedience: An Agonistic Praxis Against Anti-Pluralism Supervisors: Dr. Robin Çelikates | Prof. Dr. Yolande Jansen | Prof. Dr. Erdoğan Yıldırım | PhD Starting Year: 2016 | PhD Finishing Year: 2020.

Through the new anti-pluralist regime (beyond authoritarianism) that is now legalized and institutionalized in contemporary Turkey, this PhD project propounds a completely new concept as “radical disobedience”. The philosophical literature posits a variety of different conceptualizations and justifications of disobedience by identifying several key elements related to their ideological formations. However, it is increasingly clear that these mainstream perceptions of disobedience are being challenged from a variety of distinctive approaches with regard to present-day social and political circumstances. There are two main forms of disobedience will be considered in this study: (1) civil disobedience and (2) radical disobedience. Regarding the first one, it is possible to find a broad variety of different and in part convincing approaches. But civil disobedience cannot be a practice of political struggle unless the system of rule is democratic. Regarding the second one, there is a huge gap in the literature. In order to fill this gap, the concept and justification of radical disobedience will be theorized by defining it as a demand-driven social and political engagement that aims at a structural alteration in an anti-pluralist regime with a view to contributing democratization. For conceptualization and justification, building on the works of two scholars — (1) Chantal Mouffe and (2) Jacques Rancière —, I will demonstrate that radical disobedience is a legitimate type of struggle if a system of rule or regime is indeed anti-pluralist. In this study, Turkey will be understood as a case of anti-pluralism. Accordingly, there are two research questions: (1) how can radical disobedience be a driving force of democratization? and (2) why is radical disobedience a legitimate political praxis? To emphasize, this project will not put forward a purely normative theory but provide a theoretical analysis based on empirical research including in-depth interviews and discourse analysis.