Government Professor Publishes Paper | St. Lawrence University

Government Professor Publishes Paper

Assistant Professor of Government Mert Kartal recently had a paper published about European Union governance in Comparative European Politics. 

In his paper, "Incentivizing the Opposition: The EU’s Impact on Good Governance in Central and Eastern Europe," Kartal presents a systematic analysis based on longitudinal data suggesting that the governance performance of the 12 most recent member states of the European Union (EU) varies across two indicators. He reveals a general trend of backsliding in corruption control but no such tendency in the protection of ethnic minorities. 

Read the paper.

Kartal argues that the EU has the ability to offer electoral incentives or opportunities to opposition parties in national legislatures to adopt pro-EU policy preferences, which in return pressures government parties to implement reforms demanded by the EU. His paper suggests that such political leverage the EU has over national governments is a stronger explanation for the cross-issue variation than any other alternative in the existing literature. More specifically, prior to membership, the EU offers electoral incentives to opposition parties and mobilizes them to pressure governments to fight corruption. Yet, following accession, parties move away from EU-induced policies. Regarding minority protection, pro-minority opposition parties empowered by the EU during candidacy continue to favor pro-minority policies after accession and push governments accordingly. His findings imply that political corruption in these member countries of the EU is likely to become more problematic if the EU continues to lose its popularity among voters.

Kartal, whose broader research focuses on the impact of international organizations on good governance at the national level, earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 and served as an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for five years. In 2019, he was a guest researcher at the University of Gothenburg’s Quality of Government Institute. Recently, he has taught courses such as Introduction to International Politics, International Organization & Global Governance, Politics of the EU, and a research seminar in Corruption & Good Governance.  

The Comparative European Politics journal presents theoretical, empirical and theoretically-informed articles that explore politics in Europe and publishes the best and most original work in the field.