The Politics of the Welfare State in Turkey

GLODEM Book Club

GLODEM is pleased to announce the upcoming Book Club talk with Dr. Erdem Yörük on his latest book “The Politics of the Welfare State in Turkey”.

GLODEM’s new virtual book talk series, GLODEM Book Club, features leading scholars from around the globe discussing timely issues related to globalization, political economy, peace and conflict resolution, democratic governance and administration.

GLODEM invites you to the GLODEM Book Club.


Date: Thursday, May 25, 2023

Time: 17:30 (GMT+3:00)

Speaker: Erdem Yörük, Koç University

Moderator: Merih Angin, Koç University

Zoom registration link: (advance registration required)


Title:The Politics of the Welfare State in Turkey

About the Book:

In The Politics of the Welfare State in Turkey, author Erdem Yörük provides a politics-based explanation for the post-1980 transformation of the Turkish welfare system, in which poor relief policies have replaced employment-based social security. This book is one of the results of Yörük’s European Research Council-funded project, which compares the political dynamics in several emerging markets in order to develop a new political theory of welfare in the global south. As such, this book is an ambitious analytical and empirical contribution to understanding the causes of a sweeping shift in the nature of state welfare provision in Turkey during the recent decades—part of a global trend that extends far beyond Turkey. Most scholarship about Turkey and similar countries has explained this shift toward poor relief as a response to demographic and structural changes including aging populations, the decline in the economic weight of industry, and the informalization of labor, while ignoring the effect of grassroots politics. In order to overcome these theoretical shortages in the literature, the book revisits concepts of political containment and political mobilization from the earlier literature on the mid-twentieth-century welfare state development and incorporates the effects of grassroots politics in order to understand the recent welfare system shift as it materialized in Turkey, where a new matrix of political dynamics has produced new large-scale social assistance programs.

About the Author: Erdem Yörük is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Koç University and an Associate Member in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at University of Oxford. He serves as the principal investigator of the ERC-funded project “Emerging Welfare” (The New Politics of Welfare: Towards an “Emerging Markets” Welfare State Regime) ( and the H2020 project Social Comquant ( He is also a member of Young Academy of Europe and an associate editor of European Review. He holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University (2012). His work focuses on social welfare and social policy, social movements, political sociology, and computational social sciences. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Ford Foundation, FP7 Marie Curie CIG, European Research Council StG, ERC PoC, H2020, and the Science Academy of Turkey. His projects have created two datasets on welfare ( and protest movements ( His articles have appeared in World Development, Governance, Politics & Society, Journal of European Social Policy, New Left Review, Current Sociology, South Atlantic Quarterly, American Behavioral Scientist, International Journal of Communication, Social Policy and Administration, and Social Indicators Research, among others. His book, “The Politics of the Welfare State in Turkey” was published by the University of Michigan Press in May 2022. 


The event will be held in English via Zoom.