The Role of Domestic Factors in the Formation of Trade Unions: A Look at Turkey/EU Relations
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Liberal theories of trade suggest that free trade benefits everyone involved. To facilitate trade specifically, but also economic transactions more generally, states create international institutions. However, not all states are admitted into international trade institutions. Why are some states excluded from institutions that facilitate free trade and economic transactions and others denied, when existing theories suggest that all member states ultimately benefit? To answer the broad question I studied Turkey and the European Union (EU). Turkey was officially admitted as a candidate country to the EU in 1997. Despite efforts to meet EU demands, Turkey’s admittance has been blocked. As recently as 2007 Turkey was denied membership, while Romania and Bulgaria were both admitted into the EU. To explain why Turkey was denied entrance to the EU and Romania and Bulgaria were admitted, I use the Selectorate Theory. The Selectorate Theory states that to remain in power leaders need to provide their winning coalition with public and private goods such as tax cuts, security, and even jobs. Public opinion in a country should relate to the leaders position on an issue. To test the hypothesis that public opinion influences EU country leaders’ policy positions on Turkish ascension I use two methodologies. The first method is a statistical analysis of the connection between public opinion over Turkish ascension and subsequent government positions on enlargement. The second is a comparative case study of Romania and Bulgaria and their road to EU membership. The data was obtained from the Chapel Hill Political Party Dataset and Eurobarometer. After controlling for confounding factors, such as salience, dissent, and economic ties to Turkey, public opinion was shown to have a significant effect on the leaders party’s public stance on integration. The case studies chronicle Bulgaria and Romania’s road to EU membership through European Commission. I highlight the main problems of each country and analyze their efforts to reform while contrasting them to Turkey. A leader’s desire to stay in power causes them to pursue favorable policy. Turkish membership is not favorable policy in contrast to Bulgarian and Romanian membership, which was good policy.
Youngblood, Kristina Lynne (2008). The Role of Domestic Factors in the Formation of Trade Unions: A Look at Turkey/EU Relations. Available electronically from