The Accession Pedagogy

Power and Politics in Turkey's Bid for EU Membership

in Volume 23 (2014): Issue 1 (Mar 2014): Culture, Power and Policy in the New Europe. Guest Editor: Bilge Firat
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From 1989, new plans to enlarge the EU caused growing public disenchantment with the future of European integration as a viable model of cooperation among states and peoples in Europe. To manage disenchantment, EU actors designed various policy tools and techniques in their approaches to European peripheries such as Turkey. Among these, they intensified and perfected processes of pedagogy where EU actors assume that they have unique knowledge of what it means to be 'European' and that they must teach accession candidates how to become true Europeans. Based on accounts of EU politicians and officials, past experiences of government officials from former EU candidate states and Turkish officials' encounters with the EU's accession pedagogy, this article explores the EU's enlargement policy as a pedagogical engagement and the responses it elicits among Turkish governmental representatives, in order to test the reconfigurations of power between Europe and the countries on its margins.