An analysis of the process of association between Turkey and the European Community in the context of European integration and cooperation
This study is an attempt to analyze the Association process between Turkey and the European Community (the EC). In other words, it is a process of interaction between two actors within an institutionalized and formal association system. One is a state and the other is a sui generis organization with supranational characteristics.The main assumption of this thesis is that the Association link between the EC and Turkey acts as a framework of modernization for Turkey in its structural adjustment to the European integration project. In this context, it is suggested that Association patterns fulfil important roles in the transformation of Europe, provided that Associations are of a progressive character (cooperation towards integration) rather than being permanent frameworks in the relationship which institutionalize highly asymmetrical relationships between the advanced core and the periphery of Europe. In this sense Turkey's Association, as a pattern of cooperation, is relevant to European integration project. However, before we define our concepts and operationalize our theoretical models to analyze Turkey's Association process, it is necessary to review the relevant theoretical literature which will provide us with conceptual tools to put the phenomenon into its context. Our review of relevant background literature is by no means exhaustive. Later in this chapter we will introduce theoretical concepts, definitions, perspectives and methods that help us to give meaning to our findings and to shape and direct our arguments in the course of our research effort, in order to analyze Turkey's Association process within the context of European integration and cooperation.