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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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What Europeanization? Getting Away with Corruption in the Progressivists-Dominated Serbia

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Abstract: Following the establishment of the Serbian Progressive Party in 2008, the Serbian political scene has become characterized by a new set of dilemmas regarding democratization and Europeanization processes. By placing more emphasis on the politics of opportunities (on stronger relations with both the East and the West) and less on the politics of alternatives (on the need to select between the two geopolitical spheres), the party leadership has secured significant international attention. However, at home, the Progressivists have decided to consolidate their power, opting for an ever-increasing authoritarian approach, dominated by systemic corruption, erosion of state institutions, and continuous threat to different freedoms.

Revamping efforts

In 2008, Tomislav Nikolić and Aleksandar Vučić, the former deputy president and general secretary, respectively, of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS), whose leader Vojislav Šešelj was on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the time, established the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). As already explained in the literature, political parties are prudent organizations with clearly calculated strategies. In terms of new parties, the reason behind their formation can range anywhere from the emergence of new concerns and societal demands (as in the case of the environment and immigration problems) and the behavior of actual parties to the unsatisfactory economic performance and the problem of institutional constraints.1 Looking more closely at party politics in the post-communist European space, Anna Grzymala-Busse has argued “[t];he more the parties had earlier innovated, ←129...

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