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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Thursday, November 28 • 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Global Democratic Challenges

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Sanjal Shastri
The 2019 General Elections: What is Ailing India’s Liberals?

The 2019 elections have proved to be a watershed event for India’s liberals. The Congress, which has been the flagbearer of secular liberalism, was reduced to 52 seats, just 8 more than the previous elections. The BJP on the other bagged 303 seats, 21 more than the 2014 elections. Postmortems of the 2014 elections highlighted anti-incumbency as a factor. However, with a second consecutive defeat, important questions need to be asked about, where liberal political parties went wrong. This paper highlights three factors that worked against the Congress. Firstly, the rural agrarian population and the poor, which previously formed the core of Congress’ vote bank, have moved away from it. Secondly, centralization of power and the reliance on one political family meant that the party failed to adapt to local political discourses. Thirdly, the Congress failed to come up with an ideological alternative to the BJP. The opposition’s campaign in general and the Congress’ in particular revolved around the lone agenda of defeating the BJP. This paper concludes with two fundamental questions. How can liberal parties like the Congress regroup and put up a better fight in future elections? At the international level, what lessons are there for liberal political parties facing off against majoritarian nationalism in other parts of the world?

Berkay Koçak
Towards the End of the Long Downturn: Politicizing the Transition of Turkey

As the long downturn of Erdoğan and his ruling AKP continues, evident in the loss of popularity in the March and June 2019 municipal elections, Turkey is heading towards a major political transition process with new political parties and new political leaders. Apart from the incomplete establishment of the presidential system which aimed to concentrate power in the office of the presidency and the failure to reorganise the bureaucracy accordingly, the future of Turkish politics is full of uncertainties. Worsening economic conditions have also been affecting the collective response to Syrian refugees, creating new tendencies in domestic politics around nationalism. By using Ellen Wood’s framework ‘the separation of the economic and political,’ and Robert Brenner’s ‘politically constituted property,’ this presentation aims to illuminate the emerging tendencies in Turkish politics by focussing on the changing social property relations in the upcoming transition period, and will consider the shifting position of Turkey in the international community as well as the declining economic stability (Wood, 1991; Brenner, 1985).

avatar for Nadine Kreitmeyr

Nadine Kreitmeyr

Nadine Kreitmeyr


Berkay Koçak

The University of Waikato

Sanjal Shastri

Sanjal Shastri

Thursday November 28, 2019 3:30pm - 4:45pm NZDT
Eng Core 129, Meeting Rm 1 Engineering Core

Attendees (8)