January 13, 2019
Today, the whole world and my country also go through a legitimacy crisis in the political sphere. As long as the ballot box is seen as the only parameter of democracy, such legitimacy crisis will always find some way to emerge. According to the German socioogist Ulrich Beck, one of the causes behind the rising populist movements in Europe is that national governments are unable to respond to citizens’ concerns and this as a result produce a serious legitimacy problem.
The views of the German sociologist Ulrich Beck are very important for us to understand the problems of modern individuals in the contemporary globalizing world. His concept of “Risk Society” is relevant as never before. His other works focus on globalization, cosmopolitanism and social ineqalities and they have a lot to say about today’s problems.
Beck’s books titled “The Risk Society” and “The Invention of the Political” have been translated into many languages and Turkish as well. Ulrich who died in 2015 had been in Turkey in 2000 and gave an interview about his works.
Beck in his book “The Risk Society” wrote about the risks that cannot be taken under control in a global scale. According to Ulrich Beck, we are passing through a new form of modernity. According to the thinkers like Weber, Durkheim or Marx, the modern societies emerge as a result of evolution and within the framewrok of some sort of rationalization and functional division. In other words, things could be taken under control in the “modern” world.
Today, it can be argued that modernity has turned into a phase through which unpredictability dominates and uneven development emerges. According to Beck, the humanity has no option against the techniques that modernity provides / dictates. From my point of view, the most noticable argument of Ulrich Beck is that, for him, the politics is no more dependent on a central authority and sub-actors can play the political game as well. According to that argument, the sub-political centers can take decisions and they do not need to justify their decisions.
I agree with this statement if I analyze today’s Turkey. In the contemporary Turkey, not only the political party namely the Justice and Development Party that holds the power rules the country but also some other “pseudo-political” actors like that of some media organs or local (sub-political) actors have a say in the political arena. Their impact is naturally not so major but their role (big or not) paves the way for unpredictability in Turkish politics.Author : Begum Burak