Institutionalizing authoritarian urbanism and the centralization of urban decision-making

Ceren Ergenc*, Ozge Yuksekkaya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The changes in the global neoliberal order leading up to the 2008 financial crisis shaped individual countries’ political–administrative transformations. One of the most important trends in politics since then has been the (re)centralization of scalar politics. Urban financialization, which was proposed as a solution for the economic contraction in the post-crisis era, required fast and centralized decision-making without leaving much room for citizen participation and local variation. Turkey is a case in point for this global trend. Amid such rapid urban growth, we identify two parallel processes that weaken the local institutions and localized development in Turkey: the shifting of decision-making powers from municipalities to central state organs, especially with regard to the real estate industry; and the shifting of decision-making powers from the elected members of the city councils to the mayors themselves. We attempt to demonstrate the (re)centralization of urban decision-making process in Turkey by looking at the decisions and the processes within which those decisions were taken at Ankara Metropolitan Municipality City Council between 2014 and 2016. We argue that the rise of neoliberal authoritarianism is reinforced by the centralization of urban decision-making processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-429
Number of pages20
JournalTerritory, Politics, Governance
Issue number3
Early online date3 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Feb 2022


  • Turkey
  • authoritarian urbanism
  • city council
  • municipality law
  • recentralization

Cite this