Skip to main content
Article
Interns and Infidels: The Transformation of Work and Citizenship in Turkey and the United States under Neo-liberalism
Global Labour (2016)
  • Cedric de Leon
  • Kaan Agartan, Framingham State University
Abstract
How do the dispossessed remain governable under economic insecurity? What explains the persistence of work as a prerequisite to social rights in a time when fewer formal jobs exist? Drawing on a comparison of Turkey and the United States since 1980, we demonstrate that the neo-liberal state deploys different versions of the “work-citizenship nexus” to manage both the shrinking minority who enjoy the benefits of full citizenship and the rest who struggle to attain the rights and privileges of the formally employed. We find that neo-liberal state practices comprise a dual movement. On the one hand, the state in both countries reorients itself toward the market in welfare provision and the regulation of labour relations, capitalising on precarious work structures to bring their populations into the fold of neo-liberal governance. On the other hand, the state directly intervenes in disparate ways to manage those who cannot make it in the market. While the American state uses tactics of mass incarceration and deportation, the Turkish state opts for a blend of social conservatism and authoritarianism. This dual movement of reorientation and direct intervention results in what we call “tiered citizenship regimes” that facilitate the management of the population in each case.
Keywords
  • Work,
  • Citizenship,
  • Political Economy,
  • Labor,
  • Capitalism,
  • Neoliberalism
Publication Date
2016
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.15173/glj.v7i3.2498
Citation Information
Cedric de Leon and Kaan Agartan. "Interns and Infidels: The Transformation of Work and Citizenship in Turkey and the United States under Neo-liberalism" Global Labour Vol. 7 Iss. 3 (2016) p. 220 - 239 ISSN: 1918-6711
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cedric_deleon/17/