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The limits of conditionality and Europeanization: Turkey’s dilemmas in adopting the EU acquis on asylum

Kirisci, Kemal. (2007) The limits of conditionality and Europeanization: Turkey’s dilemmas in adopting the EU acquis on asylum. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    [From the introduction]. The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of “uncertainty over ultimate membership” on Schimmelfening and Sedelmeier model of conditionality as a factor that explains Europeanization. It is with this in mind that this paper will examine the “limits of conditionality” with a particular emphasis on Turkish accession. Turkey constitutes a unique case. The prospect of Turkish membership has generated a debate in which a vocal group of actors in Europe resists eventual membership. This in turn is impacting on Turkish public policy makers cost-benefit analysis. At a time when academic interest in Turkish accession in general and Turkey’s “Europeanization” is increasing an effort to achieve a better understanding of the limits of conditionality is called for. The paper is divided into three sections. The first part offers a brief analysis of Turkey’s “Europeanization” under the influence of the EU’s political conditionality for starting accession negotiations. This was a period during which it is possible to argue that Schimmelfening and Sedelmeier “external incentive model” actually helps one to understand and explain the drastic transformation that Turkish domestic politics and foreign policy went through. The second section on the other hand focuses on how the model becomes inadequate to explain the manner in which policy makers in Turkey began to resist certain critical reforms once accession negotiations started. The paper looks in particular at the issue of asylum as a very specific area in which Turkey has to adopt EU rules and implement them. This section will offer a brief analysis of the evolution of the Turkish asylum system and show how Turkish decision makers have reached a point where they are ready to adopt EU rules and requirements but stop short of doing so. The final section attempts to demonstrate how in a very specific policy area the erosion of the EU’s credibility in respect to Turkey’s ultimate membership is actually weakening the capacity of “conditionality” to induce “rule adoption”. The paper will conclude that the uncertainty over eventual EU membership and mistrust is keeping public policy makers’ calculation of “governmental adoption costs” prohibitively high while at the same time the Turkish asylum system is itself going through a kind of “Europeanization”.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
    EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > enlargement
    Countries > Turkey
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > asylum policy
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2008
    Page Range: p. 21
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:51

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