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Elected neighbourhood officers in a Turkish city (Izmir): Gendered local participation in governance
Elected Neighbourhood Officers in a Turkish City (Izmir): Gendered Local Participation in Governance By: Senol, Fatma URBAN STUDIES Volume: 50 Issue: 5 Pages: 977-993 Published: APR 2013 Context Sensitive Links Full Text from Publisher Close AbstractClose Abstract This paper explores how gender differences and the local scale influence individuals' conditions (i.e. motivations/issues, resources and styles) for inclusion in formal politics as electoral candidates and then as officers. The experiences of women and men muhtars-elected resident-officers of neighbourhoods-in Izmir (Turkey) in 2008 provided the data. It appeared that political participation via neighbourhood offices is shaped by (in)formal mechanisms of power relations that have been historically male-dominated with patriarchal rule(r)s at the neighbourhood level and with clientelist and statist ones at multiple scales. Men were supported greatly by their gendered neighbourhood-based networks. Women with male backing, including of incumbent muhtars, had better chances. All of the muhtars aimed at guiding residents through the governmental system, experiencing that the centralised state undermined muhtars' representative roles. By following certain tactics a few, mostly women, muhtars were persistent enough to participate in the governmental system that operated through patron-client relationships.