Project on Policies in Authoritarian Capitalist Systems
Authoritarian capitalist systems combine contradictory educational and family policy goals. Education policies and reforms of the education system are geared towards combating educational inequality while family policies remain traditional and exclusive. This creates the paradox that education policies promote the principle of equal opportunities while family policies continue to exclude and marginalize women, minorities and low income families. We argue that the government resolves this paradox with a twofold strategy: while educational reforms aim towards a more inclusive approach, traditional family policies preserve a strong influence of social origin on educational attainment. We analyze this pattern by conducting a qualitative case study on education and family policies as well as patterns of early school leaving from the Turkish education system. On a conceptual and empirical level, we differentiate between discourse, politics and implementation. We investigate official speeches by public actors to conduct a discourse analysis and use semi-structured interviews to examine the policy and implementation level. The analysis is designed as a theory-building case study showing that liberalism and authoritarianism are not necessarily opposing principles; instead we demonstrate how they can coexist in authoritarian capitalist systems.