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Authoritarian populist turn and market capture: The political economy of public procurement in Turkey

Kutlay, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-4942-1001 & Yildirim, K. (2024). Authoritarian populist turn and market capture: The political economy of public procurement in Turkey. Competition and Change,


The state’s economic role has become more visible, beyond regulatory features, since the 2008 global financial crisis. In several cases, the new interventionist turn goes parallel to the authoritarian populist turn in international politics. Although the two processes have their own dynamics, they are still interrelated. Rather than abolishing the façade of the market economy, right-wing authoritarian populist leaders are more likely to capture the market through politically loyal economic actors. To this end, public procurement is one of the fundamental mechanisms to allocate resources. In this paper, we tested this argument in the case of Turkey by examining all public procurement deals (867,260 in total) between 2010 and 2019. We found that over a relatively short period of ten years, the level of competitiveness, measured by the effective number of companies that receive public procurement, has decreased substantively. We also showed that the decrease in competitiveness was not limited only to the highest level of procurement deals. Across all deciles of procurement deals, competition has decreased, especially after 2013 —and this trend has continued since then.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the author accepted manuscript of an article that will be published by SAGE in Competition & Change. Reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses.
Publisher Keywords: Market capture, public procurement, democratic backsliding, state capture, Turkey
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs
School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of C&C revised paper.February26.pdf]
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