The elephant in the room
in Diplomacy and lobbying during Turkey’s Europeanisation
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This chapter discusses key premises of the Turkish Europeanisation literature and identifies its critical drawbacks. It argues for an analytical perspective that is grounded in the everyday understanding of actors’ and agents’ actual roles during EU–Turkey negotiations over economy, governance and ideology. Analysing the worlds and actions of diplomats and lobbyists who served as human conduits during the negotiations offers a better route to understand what ultimately went ‘wrong’ with Turkish Europeanisation. The chapter explains the book’s main thesis of how Turkish Europeanisation evolved from an accession framework to an access objective, as its actors began working for their own private, professional, public, personal or institutional interests and against their mandate of making accession happen. It also explains central concepts of the book, such as interest, power and their brokerage.

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