Hegemony and the Neoconservative Politics of Early Education Policymaking

Ecem Karlidag-Dennis, Zeynep Temiz, Melis Cin

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This research explores the dynamics, actors, and political authority through which early education policymaking is formulated and negotiated using a Gramscian perspective. Drawing on interviews with teachers, teacher trainers, and parents, we argue that the educational landscape in Turkey is driven by a prevailing neoconservative and hegemonic agenda and is mediated by a domestic history and politics that produce a monolithic understanding. We first present the political mediations that shape the interplay between the conservative ideology of the care and childcare market and then tease out the complexities of the top-down policymaking approach that leaves little room for deliberation with civil society and various educational stakeholders. We conclude the paper by discussing the initiatives that allow social access and opportunities in early education along with the implications of how and why ‘early education policy’ seems to be trapped between discourses of the raw childcare market and neoconservative gender essentialism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalChildren’s Geographies
Early online date10 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2021


  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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