Academics from Department of International Relations Participated in World Democracy Forum

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Seda Demiralp, Head of the Department of International Relations, and Prof. Dr. Rabia Karakaya Polat, a faculty member from the same department, were among the speakers at the World Democracy Forum held in Ordu/Mesudiye on September 14–16, 2023.

In the panel titled "Democracy and Local Life/Local Government" of the World Democracy Forum, Prof. Dr. Rabia Karakaya Polat delivered a speech titled "Political Participation, Representation, and Democracy in Local Governments" and highlighted the insufficient representation of women and emphasized that the representation of women in local politics should be increased. As another problem of representation, she shared her views on the fact that approximately 4.5 million voters in Turkey were governed not by the mayors they had elected but by those appointed by the central government. She concluded her speech by stating that it was very important for our democracy to create more inclusive candidate lists that were gender sensitive, sensitive to the representation of different groups and ideas, and to shape the election campaign on 'local' issues instead of polarizing ideological debates.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Seda Demiralp, who also moderated the panel titled "Democracy and Participation/Inclusion" at the Forum, pointed out in her speech titled "While Competing with Populism: Inclusive Democracy", that the failure of modern democracy to fulfill its promise of representation and its elitist nature gave rise to anti-elitist, populist movements. She emphasized that populist movements rising in the 21st century, with their majoritarian approach, provide the average voter with a sense of inclusion, while voters of minority views, beliefs, gender, and ethnic identities experience a different kind of exclusion. Demiralp argued that "inclusive democracy" could compensate for the shortcomings of both representative democracy and populism.

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