The domestic politics EU external policy making in justice and home affairs: the case of the EU-Turkey readmission-visa agreement
Baysan, Alper (2013) The domestic politics EU external policy making in justice and home affairs: the case of the EU-Turkey readmission-visa agreement. [Thesis]
Between 2009 and 2010, five Western Balkan countries were granted Schengen visa exemptions by the EU. Turkey, by contrast, was only offered a vague promise for the initiation of a visa liberalization “dialogue” in return for initialing an analogous readmission agreement in 2012. Taking this outcome as a genuine research puzzle, the present thesis embarks upon two interrelated questions: why has the EU withheld from Turkey a genuine visa liberalization perspective? And more generally, what domestic dynamics drive EU external affairs policy-making in Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) in areas such as immigration, visa and border policy? This study puts forward a domestic politics centered explanation (couched in liberal intergovernmentalist theory) to the puzzle at hand. In particular, it is argued that the reason for the differential visa agreement outcome in the Turkish case, as compared to the Balkans, emanated from opposition by key member state governments (Germany, France, Austria and the Netherlands) and was driven by adverse domestic sentiments. Public sentiments and not economic interest group pressure (standard liberal intergovernmentalist account) have shaped governmental preferences in these countries because of the securitization (causal mechanisms) of the Turkish visa issue. The argument is assessed controlling for supranational institutionalist rival explanations. At the theoretical level, the findings buttress an important point in the literature about the issue-specific nature of domestic preferences. A general theoretical proposition advanced here is that domestic sentiments trump economic interests in the governmental preference formation process in JHA policies where the issue at hand is securitized.
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