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Journal of International Relations and Development

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 983–1008 | Cite as

The political economy of EU competition rule export: unravelling the dynamics of variegated convergence in Serbia and Turkey

  • Julia Maisenbacher
  • Angela WiggerEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

As part of the key conditionalities for EU membership, candidate states have to establish a competition authority as well as competition rules, using the EU’s neoliberal competition regime as a yardstick. Turkey and Serbia are two candidates that have closely modelled their competition regimes on EU standards but have also deviated in important respects. Scholarly work usually takes EU conditionalities for granted and focuses on institutional configurations or elite socialisation to explain varying degrees of convergence, while the substantive nature of remaining discrepancies is often not accounted for. Drawing on a historical materialist approach, this article locates the EU’s competition rule export in the structural problem of overaccumulation, and the variegated trajectories of rule adoption in the specific nexus between the state and organised capital fractions. In Turkey, close ties between small and medium-sized businesses and the state ensured protectionist features, whereas the Serbian state ultimately aligned with open-market-oriented transnational capital and eliminated most of the initial discrepancies.

Keywords

Competition rules and enforcement Convergence EU accession conditionalities Overaccumulation State–business alliances 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and the editor for the excellent guidance throughout the review process. We also wish to thank Joachim Blatter, Andreas Nölke, Simone Claar, Denis Maier and Maria Turner for their help and their comments in the preparation of the article.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre d’Histoires Internationale et d’Etudes Politiques de la Mondialisation (CRHIM)University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Political Science, Institute of Management ResearchRadboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

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