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Stagnation and Drift in the Western Balkans

The Challenges of Political, Economic and Social Change

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Edited By Claire Gordon, Marko Kmezic and Jasmina Opardija-Susnjar

This volume allows a new generation of scholars, from the Balkans and beyond, to shed light on some of the struggles the region faces. The combination of post-communist and post-conflict transition, together with the current economic and financial crisis, pose difficult challenges for the Western Balkans.
What is the state of democracy in the region? Are the countries of the Western Balkans stuck somewhere between authoritarianism and genuine democracy? What are the remaining obstacles to state building? What effect has the crisis had on young people in the Western Balkans?
These are some of the questions the authors of this volume seek to answer. The studies look at different countries and combine methods from various disciplines ranging from political science, history, economics and law to sociology, anthropology and cultural studies.

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Jasmina Opardija - Building Social Science Research Capacities in the Western Balkans: RRPP Experiences and Perspectives in the Light of EU Integration - 25

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1 Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia. 2 With the EU’s 2020 strategy, it aims to better position itself in relation to the rest of the world, especially in contrast with the USA and Japan. The most important project aiming at unifying standards across the EU in terms of teaching and researching is the Bologna Process. Jasmina Opardija Building Social Science Research Capacities in the Western Balkans: RRPP Experiences and Perspectives in the Light of EU Integration Introduction This chapter explores the current status of social science research in the Western Balkans. It looks at major issues and possible steps forward while taking into account the impact of European Union (EU) accession processes that are relevant for all the countries in the region.17KH(8DFFHVVLRQSURFHVVLVRISDUWLFXODUVLJQLÀFDQFH considering that the EU and its member states are deeply involved in adjusting their higher education and research systems, striving WREHFRPHDNQRZOHGJHEDVHGVRFLHW\ÀWIRUHYHUJURZLQJJOREDO competition.2 The chapter will put into perspective the major obstacles cur- rently undermining the speed of modernization, the development of institutions and human capital and the much-needed internationali- zation of social science research in the Western Balkans. It contends that increases in focused investments, political ambition to trans- form systems, combined with more transparency and cooperation across party or entity lines, are urgently needed. Considering that the countries in question are in one or another way involved in EU accession processes, timely and serious reforms would enable the region to catch up more easily with the EU and its members states, 26 Jasmina...

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