Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Michael F. Herb

Second Advisor

Dr. Carrie Manning

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Hankla


Political success in semi-democratic countries has two aspects: shifting the balance of power in one’s favor and maintaining it. This thesis seeks to examine how the AKP has succeeded in shifting the balance of power in its favor while its predecessor the Welfare Party did not. Focusing on electoral success, existing research primarily lists center-periphery conflict, moderation, class struggle, party organization, and failures of others as the main determinants. Yet the significance of reining in the power of the Kemalist state structure has been mostly disregarded. Therefore, with a comparison of the AKP (2002-2007) and the Welfare Party (1996-1997) governments, this study tests one assertion using most-similar systems research design that in semi-democratic political settings with strong authoritarian actors, political parties that build broad coalitions via group specific policy promises will be more likely to shift the balance of power in favor of themselves than actors that lack such connections.