Europeanization without substance? EU-Turkey relations and gender equality in employment

Aybars, Ayşe İdil
Tsarouhas, Dimitris
This paper focuses on EU-Turkey relations through gender-related employment policy practices. We argue that Turkey is undergoing a process of 'Europeanization without substance', in which vague commitments and policy initiatives to enhance female labour force participation coexist uneasily with a contravening political discourse. This is not merely the result of a stalemate in accession negotiations, nor does it stem from the diversity of employment practices across the Union. It rather results from the deliberative discourses used by Turkey's political leadership to selectively appropriate certain aspects of Europeanization to further a politically motivated agenda that, in essence, negates gender equality altogether. This, we argue in turn, is reflected in a set of practices, policy initiatives, and public statements that make substantive progress in EU-Turkey relations harder. This process is facilitated by the diminishing emphasis placed by the EU on gender equality in employment as manifested by the evolution of gender equality practices at EU level and reinforced by austerity-led policies during the economic crisis.
Comparative European Politics


National social dialogue structures and the european employment strategy: comparing Greece and Ireland
Cihan, Gizem; Yalman, Osman Galip; Tsarouhas, Dimitri; Department of European Studies (2010)
The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the impact of European Employment Strategy (EES) on social partnership at national level. Increasing the participation of trade unions, employer organisations and other social partners in policy formulation and implementation is one of the EES objectives. A comparative study has been conducted on Ireland and Greece in order to analyse to what extent this objective has been achieved through EES, which is an Open Method of Coordination. Historical institutionalism prov...
Good governance in conditions of globalization and Europeanization : public financial management in Turkey from a policy transfer approach
Özdemir Tsarouhas, Umut Evin; Eralp, Yakup Atila; Department of International Relations (2013)
The purpose of this thesis is to explain the process of policy change in public financial management in Turkey. It looks into the interaction between endogenous and exogenous factors affecting the evolution of policy principles and programmes and uses a policy transfer approach. The author compares two periods: the adjustment-oriented (1980-1999) and accession-oriented (1999 onwards) reform eras. Considering the IFIs and the EU as proxies for globalization and Europeanization, the thesis also examines the i...
Europeanisation of gender equality policies: an analysis of the gender equality in employment in Turkey
Urhan Kurtulan, Ecem Pınar; Alpan, Başak Zeynep; Department of European Studies (2019)
This thesis analyses the domestic transformation that Turkey has experienced in terms of gender equality in employment and the role of the European Union (EU) on this process. Besides providing an account of the laws affecting Turkish women’s employment by comparing the periods before and after Turkey’s acceptance as a candidate state to the EU, it also examines the success of the adopted laws’ translation into implementation in a way to improve Turkish women’s position. By adopting a bottom-up approach to ...
AKTAŞ, RABİA; AYBARS, AYŞE İDİL; Department of Gender and Women's Studies (2022-2-10)
This thesis study examines the contributions of women directors to the field of gender equality in business life and the policies they carry out, focusing on the case of Turkey. This thesis study focuses on the situations of large-scale companies (domestic and foreign) in Turkey. Based on explanatory frameworks that act from a gender perspective; this thesis study examines the role of women decision makers in the improvement of gender equality by taking the experiences, education and career paths of w...
European Union non-discrimination principle: rereading statutory social security schemes in Turkey
Günder, Zeyne; Aşçıoğlu Öz, Gamze; Department of European Studies (2019)
The main purpose of this thesis is to assess the alignment of statutory social security regulations applied in Turkey to the European Union non-discrimination principle. In the European Union Law, prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of nationality and gender equality has a deep-rooted history. Other areas in which prohibition of discrimination is applied in the European Union Law (sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation), have been added later though ...
Citation Formats
A. İ. Aybars and D. Tsarouhas, “Europeanization without substance? EU-Turkey relations and gender equality in employment,” Comparative European Politics, pp. 778–796, 2019, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: