On Wednesday, December 11, Dr. Defne Günay (University of Sheffield, UK) gave a talk to IR faculty members and postgraduate students. Her topic was “Europeanization and State Capacity: Turkey in the Middle East.”
One of the many arguments Dr. Günay put forth during her presentation was that the process of Europeanization in Turkey has been accompanied by state transformation, offering state agents new opportunities as well as constraints in the pursuit of their policy objectives. Shedding light on Turkey’s relations with the European Union, Dr. Günay outlined the mechanisms of EU enlargement and emphasized the point that Europeanization does not necessarily mean adopting EU standards, rules and codes of behavior, but can lead to the opposite effects as well.
In the second part of the talk, Turkish relations with the Middle East were reviewed in detail and the salient role of state actors in opening up business opportunities was discussed. The state, Dr. Günay stressed, has been instrumental in pushing for more trade links with the Middle East and has used Europeanization for purposes of trade expansion in the region. As at all IR talks, the presentation was followed by a lively and enlightening question and answer period involving staff and students alike. By Arlinda Pllana (IR/II)