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Political conditionality and European Union's cultivation of democracy in Turkey

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This contribution assesses the effectiveness of the European Union's (EU's) efforts to promote democracy in Turkey through strategies of political conditionality (leverage) and via the cultivation of Turkish civil society (linkage). Testing various hypotheses about leverage and linkage, it finds that the EU's efforts, particularly those emphasizing conditionality, were far more effective from 2000 to 2005, prior to the beginning of accession talks with Turkey. Since that period, ambiguities about conditionality and whether Turkey will be able to gain admission, as well as internal political developments in Turkey, have slowed political reform in Turkey. Examination of the Turkish case, therefore, shows both the possibilities and constraints of EU democracy promotion via linkage and leverage.

Keywords: EU membership; European Union; Turkey; civil society; conditionality; democratization; linkage

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Political Science,Oakland University, RochesterMI, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2011


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