The Development of Social Policies Discipline in Turkey

The formation of the social policy field in Turkey goes back to establishment of the Institute of Social Policy in The University of Istanbul in 1936. Social policy discipline played a noteworthy role in the formation of public policies and achievement of Turkish Republic's goal of forming a society based on social solidarity. In 1982, Social Policy and Labour Law departments transformed into Labour Economics and Industrial Relations with the opening of the same departments in different universities. Even though the number of these departments increased and the subjects of this discipline became varied, social policy discipline lost its position in policy formation. In the 1990s, the Human Resources field, the subfield of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations, gained prestige with the increasing need of human resources staff of the private sector and began to dominate the labour economics and industrial relations departments. The premise of this article is to scrutinize the formation of the social policies and social policy studies in Turkey in the light of socio-economic transformation of Turkey and the world. This approach reveals that how social policy studies in Turkey have been closely affected by social, political, and economic dynamics since the late Ottoman era.


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