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Balkanizing Europeanization: Fight against Corruption and Regional Relations in the Western Balkans

Edited By Vladimir Vučković and Vladimir Đorđević

The main theme of this book revolves around the idea of Europeanization of the Western Balkans. In that respect, the volume discusses the fight against corruption and regional relations in former Yugoslav states, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The objective of the book is to detect the level of effectiveness of the EU impact on domestic structural changes in the Western Balkans regarding aforementioned research issues. The contributors argue that the EU impact in the Western Balkans has so far been limited and point to limitations in this regard.

«The book Balkanizing Europeanisation offers timely, detailed, critical and excellently researched insight into the complicated mutual relations of the EU and the countries of the Balkan Peninsula. Based on excellent scholarship, meticulous original research and first-hand experience with the Balkan area, the authors provide a reader with rich and profound analysis of successes and failures of Europeanisation of the Balkan countries. The volume shall become an obligatory reading for many categories of scholars, experts, and people practicing diplomacy with and in the region.»

Vít Hloušek, Professor of European Politics, Masaryk University

«The limits to and problems connected with processes of Europeanization in the Western Balkans remain an important topic both for policy-makers and for scholarly inquiry. Vučković and Đorđević are to be congratulated for having assembled a first-rate teach of scholars to examine the most vital issues at hand.»

Sabrina P. Ramet, Professor of Political Science, The Norwegian University of Science & Technology

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Introduction

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Abstract: This chapter takes stock of respective scholarship on Europeanization and introduces methodological considerations applicable throughout the volume.

On Europeanization (of the Western Balkans) and related scholarship

The term “Europeanization” has become inherently associated with research on the European Union (EU) and its integration agenda, even more so in recent years when the EU’s transformative and integrative power have come to be seriously challenged as such. There are various definitions of the term, all of which discuss direct EU impact upon domestic politics of candidate states so as to produce internal changes within these states and thus prepare them for eventual EU membership. Therefore, to argue in Schimmelfennig’s words, Europeanization is essentially the process in which the EU stipulates particular sets of rules, regulations, and mechanisms, thus influencing “the behavior of public and private actors across integrated policy areas.”1 In his volume on EU rule of law in the Western Balkans2, Kmezić has additionally argued Europeanization by referring to Radaelli’s definition and by claiming “that this process consists of (a) construction (b) diffusion and (c) institutionalization of formal and informal rules, procedures, policy paradigms, styles, ‘ways of doing things’ and shared beliefs and norms which are first defined and consolidated in the EU policy process and then incorporated in the logic of domestic (national and subnational) discourse, identities, political structures and public policies.”3 Therefore, Europeanization is at the same time “means and an end; it is method as well as substance; it...

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