Rational institutionalism’s theoretical explanations for external Europeanisation focus on material incentives such as accession conditionality in determining change in non-EU states. However, such exogenous explanations struggle to interpret ongoing Europeanisation where accession incentives have declined or even reversed (‘stalled’ accession), but institutional adjustment still continues. This Europeanization phenomenon is evident in Turkey, a state that had actively pursued EU membership between 1999 and 2004, resulting in domestic institutional reform to align governance structures with the EU. Thereafter, Europeanisation has reversed in some policy sectors but nonetheless continued in others such as Turkish water policy, despite a declining accession process. Rational institutional arguments therefore appear to lose explanatory power for such events post-2005. An alternative theoretical proposition forwarded is that the EU accession process embedded a self-sustaining cycle of socialization through social learning around water policy norms amongst policy actors that has continued beyond this accession imperative.
Burçin Demirbilek is lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Çankırı Karatekin University.
List of Figures and Tables
Chapter 1. Explaining Europeanisation in Turkish Accession
Chapter 2. A Sociological Institutionalism Theoretical Framework
Chapter 3. The Europeanisation of Turkish Water Policy: Implementing the Water Framework Directive at National Level
Chapter 4. Implementing the Water Framework Directive at River Basin Level: Konya (closed) basin
Chapter 5. Implementing the Water Framework Directive at River Basin Level: Büyük Menderes River Basin
Chapter 6. Assessing the Value of Sociological Institutionalism for Explaining the Europeanisation of Turkish Water Policy: A Discussion
This book is a great contribution on the intersection point of Europeanisation, environmental policy, and norm transfer. Turkish water policy presents an excellent laboratory for testing how and to what extent Europeanisation of legislation and implementation of an environmental policy takes place in a candidate country. Demirbilek’s book aptly and innovatively handles this by employing a sociological institutionalist perspective. Definitely a good read for students of environmental politics, water policy, the European Union, and sociological institutionalism.
This book offers a fine, balanced and well written exploration of a largely understudied phenomenon. Relying on a carefully crafted research design and an original application of sociological-institutionalist thinking, Burçin Demirbilek traces the complex ways in which the EU has shaped water policy and management in Turkey in the last 20 years. This book will be an essential reading for those interested in the Europeanisation of jurisdictions outside the EU, but also makes a valuable contribution to the study of the EU Water Framework Directive and, in doing so, appeals to water policy scholars and practitioners alike.