Social Change and Political Participation in Turkey
Ergun Ozbudun


Scholars have long argued that political participation tends to increase with economic and social modernization. In this study of Turkey, however, the author shows that rapid socio-economic growth has coincided with a substantial decline in turnout at the polls. His ecological analysis of subnational aggregate voting data for the sixties and the explanation of his startling findings form the core of this up-to-date and comprehensive survey of Turkey's political development.

Turkey is one of very few countries to combine rapid socio-economic change with a democratic system. The author demonstrates that in this context modernization tends to increase autonomous, instrumental, and class-based political participation, and to decrease mobilized, deferential, and communal-based political participation. The topics he examines include: social cleavages and the party system; distribution of land and income; geographical and social mobility; access to education; regional variations in voting turnout; urban-rural differences in voting behavior; socio-economic correlates of voting activity and party votes; and patterns of participation among peasants and the urban poor.

First published in 1977.