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Domestic Leverage: Member State Motives on Turkey Joining the EU

Wright, Michael (2012) Domestic Leverage: Member State Motives on Turkey Joining the EU. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Turkey’s bid to join the European Union is fraught with political tension and questions of identity, values and norms. In some ways, it is seen as on the central battlefield of Huntington’s clash of civilizations. It is also a matter of security and economic politics, with great geopolitical implications. This research explores why member states support or oppose Turkish membership in the EU.

This research investigates the Turkish membership policies of 15 EU member states from 1997 to 2006 and tests 32 hypotheses drawn from international relations theories and approaches. These include variables related to security, power, and wealth; identities, norms and values. In doing so it comes to some interesting conclusions and policy implications.

Contrary to common perception, it is not about security, economics or power politics between states, nor is it primarily about Turkey’s ability to meet the Copenhagen criteria of EU membership. By and large, the politics of Turkey’s bid to join the EU are not about Turkey at all. Instead, it is about the domestic politics of immigration in some member states and other member states’ own respect for human rights norms. The exception is Greece, which has a peculiar bilateral political dynamic with Turkey. Furthermore, this research finds that many more member states support Turkey than oppose its bid for membership.

In finding a parsimonious model of predicting member states’ policies, it develops policy options for Turkey to guide its difficult path for membership. Rather than attempting to be a security asset and valuable trading partner, Turkey needs to muck it up in member states’ domestic politics, where the real challenges lie. Of course, it needs to meet the criteria for membership, but at the same time it should not prematurely give in to Cypriot demands, despite the EU’s urging for it to do so.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wright, Michaelmiw13@pitt.eduMIW13
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBrenner, Michael J.mbren@pitt.eduMBREN
Committee MemberSbragia, Alberta M.sbragia@pitt.eduSBRAGIA
Committee MemberKeeler, John T.S.keeler@pitt.eduKEELER
Committee MemberThemudo, Nunothemudo@pitt.eduTHEMUDO
Date: 27 June 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 April 2012
Approval Date: 27 June 2012
Submission Date: 27 April 2012
Access Restriction: 3 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 3 years.
Number of Pages: 652
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Turkey European Union Member States Accession EU enlargement domestic politics
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2012 17:00
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 18:55


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