Participation, Civil Society and the Facebook Use of NGOs in Turkey

Participation, Civil Society and the Facebook Use of NGOs in Turkey

Kamil Demirhan (Bülent Ecevit University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2019-1.ch010


This study finds out the use of Facebook by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Turkey to engage the social and political events of the country. NGOs are civil society organizations aiming at promoting participation of citizens in social and political issues. They are a part of democratic system and they have important role to struggle with corruptions and improve the legitimacy of political-legal organization in political system. NGOs work using social networks and promoting civic culture. Therefore, the use of new communication and interaction channels is necessary for NGOs to develop social networks and civic participation. Social media can be a new channel to promote social and political life. This study focuses on Facebook activities of 40 NGOs selected from eight different activity fields: politics, environment, woman rights, economy, emergency, education, human rights, and democracy. It uses content analysis method to understand the NGOs' activities in Facebook, in terms of social and political issues realized in the year of 2012.
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Participation, Civil Society And Icts

In 1990s, after the new liberalization wave in the world and the crisis of representative democracy, democracy has been associated with the concept of open society, transparent government, accountability of institutions, and the participation of various actors such as sub-national and supra-national institutions, social groups, or citizens in politics (Held et al., 1999, p. 187; Wijkman, 1998; Şaylan, 2008). Recently, politics is seen as more related to social area and it is a spontaneous process rather than hierarchical one (Çakır & Demirhan, 2011). Multiple-actors' participation in political issues, has been characterized as the main requirement in order to provide a heterogenic, flexible and strong democracy. These changes caused to the development of new democracy models like deliberative and radical democracy (Habermas, 2006; Mouffe, 2005). New democracy models consist of the political participation of different interest groups, NGOs, and other actors in politics. Political participation of these actors insists on the importance of democratization and the bottom-up model of participation instead of top-down model (Pratt, 2004, p. 319; Falk, 1999). It consists of a socialized public sphere more than constitutional process like periodical elections (Falk, 1999). Political participation of different social and political actors based on their communication. Either this communication would be resulted in an agreement among various groups who have different interests and opinions or it would prepare the conditions for pluralistic democracy for the political competition and conflict among these groups (Habermas, 2006; Benhabib, 2006; Mouffe, 2005).

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