International Politics

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 413–431 | Cite as

Entrapped again: The way to EU membership negotiations with Turkey

  • Frank Schimmelfennig
Part Two: External Relations


The membership of Turkey is one of the most controversial external relations issues of the European Union (EU). In a comparison of four instances of decision-making on accession negotiations with Turkey between 1997 and 2006, this paper explains why and under which conditions Turkey has progressed on the way to EU membership in spite of persistent and increasing divergence of membership preferences. In line with the entrapment hypothesis of normative institutionalism, the analysis shows that Turkey and its supporters within the EU have been able to overcome the opposition to its membership bid to the extent that Turkey followed the fundamental norms of the EU.


Turkey EU membership normative institutionalism entrapment hypothesis 



I thank Alexander Bürgin for research assistance and the participants and commentators at the project workshops in Pittsburgh and Dublin for valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Schimmelfennig
    • 1
  1. 1.ETH Zurich, Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS)ZürichSwitzerland

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