Democracy in the shadow of the deep state : guardian hybrid regimes in Turkey and Thailand
Title: Democracy in the shadow of the deep state : guardian hybrid regimes in Turkey and Thailand
Author: WATMOUGH, Simon Paul
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2017
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
This dissertation takes as its focus the emergence of guardian political order – a hybrid political system in which elected officials must contend with non-elected ‘reserved domains’ dominated by state elites that exercise a ‘tutelary’ or ‘guardian’ function in relation to the overall polity – in modern Turkey and Thailand in the second half of the twentieth century. Its central objective is to explain how guardian regimes emerge and consolidate, and why they assume their distinctive regime morphology – a hybrid constitutional structure bifurcated between elected institutions and unelected tutelary ones. This broad inquiry into puzzling ‘regime outcomes’ entails a subsidiary set of questions. Given that hybrid regimes generally tend to follow in the wake of authoritarian ones, what would induce authoritarian incumbent elites to cede their monopoly of power to a political system bifurcated in this way? How do we explain the substantial variation in the institutional design of guardian structures in different cases when they first come to life? Why have guardian hybrid regimes proved so durable and long-lasting? Finally, how can we account for distinctive regime trajectories – the patterns of ideological–institutional reconfiguration that guardian hybrid regimes undergo over time? This dissertation advances a novel theory of how guardian hybrid regimes come about, the shape they take when they are born, how they reproduce (institutionally speaking) over time, and also how they adapt or change over time both institutionally and ideologically. It argues that guardian hybrid regimes emerge as contingent outcomes of intra-elite conflict during historical breakpoints in national political development. During these ‘critical junctures’ traditional state elites engage in intense factional contestation over the task of fashioning a new, post-authoritarian political system. Deep, longstanding socio-political cleavages in the body politic and the particular quality of the domestic and international security environment condition elite conflict and elite choices over regime structure during the critical juncture and shape the eventual ‘architecture’ of the new political system. This explains the distinctive institutional morphology of guardian hybrid regimes – a bifurcation of the overall framework of political authority within the state between elected institutions (the ‘political realm’) and guardian tutelary ones (the ‘deep state’). Once established, guardian hybrid regimes are sustained and reproduced by institutional complexes of socially-embedded notions of legitimate political authority and strategic bureaucratic incumbency. These complexes consist in three mutually reinforcing elements that generate mechanisms of inherent institutional reproduction: a hegemonic state ideology (HSI); a ‘monist’ public sphere, and; periodic ‘strategic’ interventions by guardian actors to ‘discipline’ the political realm. Guardian hybrid regimes are also adaptive. In the wake of guardian settlements, processes of reaction and counterreaction to those settlements produce transitions through different institutional–ideological configurations as different guardian actors jockey for primacy within the deep state in response to varying challenges from the political firmament. I develop this argument and ground these claims through a critical juncture-path dependence analytical framework. Path-dependent explanations in comparative-historical analysis unfold through a sequence of analytical elements or components – critical junctures and antecedent conditions, institutional reproduction, reactive sequences and final outcomes – that work together to provide robust explanations of institutional outcomes, including patterns of regime development.
Defence date: 7 April 2017; Examining Board: Professor Christian Reus-Smit, formerly EUI/University of Queensland, Supervisor; Professor Philippe Schmitter, European University Institute (Emeritus); Professor Laurence Whitehead, University of Oxford; Professor Ayşe Zarakol, University of Cambridge
Type of Access: embargoedAccess