Bureaucratic Intimacies: Translating Human Rights in Turkey (Paperback)

Bureaucratic Intimacies: Translating Human Rights in Turkey Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days


Human rights are politically fraught in Turkey, provoking suspicion and scrutiny among government workers for their anti-establishment left-wing connotations. Nevertheless, with eyes worldwide trained on Turkish politics, and with accession to the European Union underway, Turkey's human rights record remains a key indicator of its governmental legitimacy. Bureaucratic Intimacies shows how government workers encounter human rights rhetoric through training programs and articulates the perils and promises of these encounters for the subjects and objects of Turkish governance.

Drawing on years of participant observation in programs for police officers, judges and prosecutors, healthcare workers, and prison personnel, Elif M. Babul argues that the accession process does not always advance human rights. In casting rights as requirements for expertise and professionalism, training programs strip human rights of their radical valences, disassociating them from their political meanings within grassroots movements. Translation of human rights into a tool of good governance leads to competing understandings of what human rights should do, not necessarily to liberal, transparent, and accountable governmental practices. And even as translation renders human rights relevant for the everyday practices of government workers, it ultimately comes at a cost to the politics of human rights in Turkey.

About the Author

Elif M. Babul is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Mount Holyoke College.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781503603172
ISBN-10: 1503603172
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Pages: 248
Language: English
Series: Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Cultures (Paperback)