Democratisation, Economic lessons and EU accession: what Portugal and Turkey can learn from one another (DEEPT)



Isabel David, PhD


Research team

Carlos Piteira

Tânia Ganito

Teresa Almeida e Silva


External Consultants

Isabel David, PhD

Teresa de Almeida e Silva, PhD

Tiago Ferreira Lopes, PhD


Research Group

Middle East and Central Asia


Portugal and Turkey are located at the geographic limits of Europe. Yet, despite their physical distance, both countries unexpectedly share several political and economic dynamics, including their linkage to the EU.

At the political level, Portugal and Turkey have undergone similar trajectories: as imperial powers, both faced traumatising decolonisation processes and forced secularisation, military interference in politics and authoritarianism. At the economic level, instability and crises led to the intervention of international actors in order to stabilise the countries and avoid bankruptcy. Their experience in terms of economic convergence can also provide insights into the challenges ahead of regional integration processes – EU enlargements brought about a heterogeneous ensemble, causing a conflict vis a vis the implementation of the Monetary, but not economic, Union.

Yet, academics have never drawn their attention to these parallel realities and studies comparing both cases are inexistent. Therefore, this proposal will focus on Portugal and Turkey through two different but interconnected domains: democratisation and economic lessons, in which the EU has been a pivotal common actor that will be taken into account.

Thus, DEEPT will (i) investigate the similarities and differences between the two cases and (ii) will use its results as a tool to overcome this literature gap, (iii) making this comparison in the light of the countries’ interactions with the EU, and will subsequently (iv) assess the EU’s political and diplomatic positions towards Portugal and Turkey, raising questions about their successes and failures. Consequently, it will be possible (v) to analyse which lessons and good practices may be drawn from both cases and which ones are adaptable to the other country’s reality. Ultimately, the implementation of DEEPT will aim (vi) at fostering a considerable increase in cooperation between Portugal and Turkey at the political, diplomatic, economic and cultural levels.



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Daxiyangguo – Portuguese Journal of Asian Studies

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