Attitudinal Ambivalence towards Turkey's EU Membership

Erisen C., Erisen E.

JCMS-JOURNAL OF COMMON MARKET STUDIES, vol.52, no.2, pp.217-233, 2014 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jcms.12091
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.217-233
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


This article takes a comparative political behaviour approach to examine the multifaceted nature of Turkey's European Union (EU) membership bid from the perspective of the EU citizens. We propose a multidimensional explanation for EU citizens' attitude towards Turkey's membership by referring to the political psychology literature on attitudinal ambivalence. We examine whether EU citizens simultaneously hold multiple and conflicting considerations on Turkey's EU accession bid, and whether this ambivalence has attitudinal consequences. To that end, we use the Eurobarometer 66.1 data set to analyze the EU public attitudes on various aspects of possible Turkish EU membership. The findings show that the EU citizens maintain ambivalent views about Turkish membership across three domain pairs: economy-security, immigration-security and population-culture. The significant impact of these ambivalence domains on increasing support for Turkey's membership to the EU is further discussed in the article.