University of Twente Student Theses


When identity prevents compliance: the cases of croatia and Turkey

Jongkees, Barry (2012) When identity prevents compliance: the cases of croatia and Turkey.

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Abstract:During the accession process of Turkey and Croatia, it became clear that these countries faced bigger hurdles to compliance than those candidates preceding them. Both countries faced conflicts that originated from national identity. Based on this observation, this thesis asks itself the following research question: What is the effect of identity conflict on compliance by Croatia and Turkey with the acquis communautaire chapters? Compliance by both countries is measured using an interrupted time series design, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data is used to outline the context of identity conflict, its formation and the effects on compliance, after which quantitative data on the opening, closing and freezing of acquis communautaire chapters over period 2006-2011 confirms the earlier findings on compliance. The findings show that both Croatia and Turkey underwent identity conflict during their accession process. For Croatia, the border conflict with Slovenia over the bay of Piran blocked compliance for eleven months. Identity conflict was overcome with the existence of large and credible benefits (membership) and ingenious Commission mediation that allowed prevention of costs of compliance. In Turkey’s case, the identity conflict is composed of the Cyprus dispute. Owing to the focus on ethnic nationalism in its identity, the protection of ethnic Turks in Northern Cyprus is a key policy for Turkey, leading to their establishment and recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The quantitative data supports these findings, Turkey’s compliance stays low throughout the period, whereas Croatia shows positive trends before the conflict and after the conflict is removed. Acknowledging the existence of identity conflict in both countries, it is interesting to note the stark difference in success of compliance; Croatia closed all acquis chapters, whereas Turkey has closed only one. This thesis finds that the primary difference between the two candidate states is the credibility of membership and the domestic political situation. Following the assumptions of the ‘external incentives model’, candidates only comply when benefits of doing so outweigh the costs. The lack of credible membership perspective for Turkey removes the benefit from the equation, and thus removes the incentive to overcome identity conflict. This thesis therefore concludes that the ‘external incentives model’ is still applicable to these candidates, despite the fact that they face higher costs (identity conflict).
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
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