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October 30 , 2008

Contemporary Kemalism

From Universal Secular-Humanism to Extreme Turkish Nationalism


The nature and content of Kemalist ideology in Turkey during the last twenty years is analysed in this book. In order to place the current manifestations of this Turkish official modernising ideology in the two-part context of globalisation and the re-sacralisation of the world, Contemporary Kemalism scrutinises the texts of five prominent Kemalist intellectuals.

After defining the unquestioned ideological premises of Kemalism, such as its implied liberal philosophy of history, and its idea about human nature, the book describes Kemalism’s vision of the ideal society. Kemalism’s close relationship to social democracy and neo-nationalism is then discussed in detail. Also included is an analysis of contemporary Kemalism’s relation to earlier Kemalist articulations. The study demonstrates that various previous assumptions, both Western and Turkish, concerning Kemalism’s nature and content are too simplistic, and thus unable to account for the endurance of this ideology and its continuing relevancy in present-day Turkey.

Inviting the reader to contemplate contemporary Kemalism’s ambiguous relationship with the Western world, this book will be of value to scholars and researchers with an interest in Middle Eastern Politics, Modernization Theory and Political Ideology.

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