The accession of Croatia to the EU marked the end of a long and arduous period of transition. Croatia had to meet significantly higher criteria than previous states with suspicion and concerns among existing members about further enlargement increasing. Meanwhile initially strong public support in Croatia declined as inconsistencies in EU policy, entry criteria and problems caused by the economic crisis all combined with fears about the loss of national identity and the ability to realize national interests. The successful Croatian accession to the EU in 2013 shows that, despite concerns on both sides, the EU continues to have meaning and significance and that membership remains highly desirable. Through nine mutually interrelated chapters the contributors speak not only about the political and social situation in Croatia, but also prospects for the European Union itself.
’This volume offers an exceptionally wide range of uses. It frames and articulates the issues of special interest to regional scholars, especially those interested in the last waves of admissions to the Union. It provides much needed perspective and insight for policy-makers and European politicians and a platform for further research and study for serious students of European, Balkan, and Croatian politics. Comparative and IR scholars need to read it.’ Richard P. Farkas, DePaul University, USA ’Processes, actors and issues of Croatia’s journey to European Union membership are explained by this timely and analytical work. A must read for scholars, students and practitioners of politics of European enlargement. Political science at its best.’ Ivan GrdeÅ¡i, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The Balkans are a region of Europe widely associated over the past decades with violence and war. Beyond this violence, the region has experienced rapid change in recent times though, including democratization, economic and social transformation. New scholarship is emerging which seeks to move away from the focus on violence alone to an understanding of the region in a broader context drawing on new empirical research.
The Southeast European Studies Series seeks to provide a forum for this new scholarship. Publishing cutting-edge, original research and contributing to a more profound understanding of Southeastern Europe while focusing on contemporary perspectives the series aims to explain the past and seeks to examine how it shapes the present. Focusing on original empirical research and innovative theoretical perspectives on the region the series includes original monographs and edited collections. It is interdisciplinary in scope, publishing high-level research in political science, history, anthropology, sociology, law and economics and accessible to readers interested in Southeast Europe and beyond.