Democratization and Institutional Reform

Istanbul Policy Center’s Democratization and Institutional Reform cluster features three research programs. Through a partnership with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), IPC has conducted thorough research on constitutional reform that yielded numerous consensual suggestions on political party, parliamentary, and judiciary reforms. Over a hundred Turkish civil society organizations have contributed to this study. The wide-scale participation and interest from the diverse Turkish NGO community has generated a first-of-its-kind “Checks and Balances Network.” Today, together with IPC’s and NDI’s leadership, the Checks and Balances Network is responsible for programs that promote deliberative democratic processes and participatory citizenship.

Governance constitutes the second important component of this cluster. IPC’s research on governance provides policy suggestions particularly on local governments, decentralization, and regionalization. IPC’s annual international conference series has featured current and vital topics such as “Environmental Governance” and “Centralization-Decentralization Debate Revisited. IPC has also contributed to the Middle East and North Africa Development Forum and has completed a project on “Poverty Alleviation through Local Governance.” Furthermore, IPC remains a key partner in the EU-anchored and UNDP-sponsored projects.

Urban transformation is the third fundamental feature of this cluster. Urban transformation in Anatolian cities has boosted Turkey’s economic growth and expedited the democratization process. IPC’s work in this field probes the impact of globalization on the economic and democratic development of key urban centers in the rural Anatolia