New Dynamics in Judiciary-Executive Friction: Evidence from National Media Coverage in Bangladesh and Turkey

Instances of friction between the judiciary and the executive have become fairly common in modern politics. Although episodes of disagreement between the two branches are well documented in established democracies, little is known about informal judiciary-executive exchanges in competitive authoritarian contexts. In this paper, we examine recent episodes of judiciary-executive friction in Turkey and Bangladesh, and show how the media has been appropriated as an instrument of public disagreement. By analyzing national news, we observe new forms of confrontation between judges and politicians in which the media has become a platform for disputing judicial issues that are otherwise shielded from public scrutiny as part of the constitutional culture. Moreover, it is not just governments that utilize the media to advance their interests, we are also witnessing a growing parallel tendency among members of the judiciary to give statements for public consumption to advance their positions.