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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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Untangling Europeanization, Compliance and Reform: The Missing Link of Domestic Resistance and Accountability


Abstract: This chapter summarizes the most important points on Europeanization of the Western Balkans regarding the fight against corruption and organized crime by highlighting the research findings that seriously call into question much of the existing academic scholarship on the topic at hand.

EU and domestic transformation

This book seeks answers to pending and pertinent timely questions regarding the potential of the European Union (EU) to encourage domestic transformation at the receiving end of EU enlargement. Specifically, it asks to what extent EU enlargement tools have triggered domestic institutional and policy changes across the Western Balkans (WB). Change here is innovatively operationalized in terms of both verbal commitments, formal compliance and more substantial or irreversible reforms resulting out of EU policies.1 The potential of the EU to turn around the poor record of reform is empirically tested against two crucial areas that have emerged as key and urgent priorities of the EU’s Balkan-tailored enlargement policy: the fight against corruption and regional cooperation and good neighborly relations. The book makes for sober findings, which challenge the assumptions of much of the existing literature, call for expanding the array of explanatory frameworks and necessitate revising the mechanisms at play.

Existing answers, which by and large reflect the expansive research on EU enlargement, highlight a funfair of enthusiastic assumptions on the power of the EU to trigger domestic change, corresponding domestic pledges and commitments, but little evidence of irreversible change on the ground. Mainstream research...

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