Corporatist structure without corporatist policy: union of Turkish bar associations and state institutions
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According to corporatist theory, a corporatist interest group structure leads to policy concertation. In this case, the relationship between one of the institutions in the corporatist structure, the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (“TBB”) and the government should be one of policy concertation. However, there are signs that this is not the case. This study therefore explores the relations between TBB and state institutions to understand the true nature of the relationship. Based mainly on interviews conducted with presidents of bar, the study finds that despite the existence of a corporatist structure, the relationship between TBB and the government does not amount to policy concertation given the monist state tradition in Turkey. The study further explores the reasons for conflict between TBB and state institutions. In addition to monism, it finds that socio-economic change that undermines TBB’s homogeneity; its interest group status swinging between a promotional and protective one; and attorneys’ interest in politics are all contributing factors. More importantly, they not only cause conflict but also make it impossible for the interest group to play the role expected from a corporatist partner.
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