The EU and Member State Building: European Foreign Policy in the Western Balkans, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The EU and Member State Building

European Foreign Policy in the Western Balkans, 1st Edition

Edited by Soeren Keil, Zeynep Arkan


248 pages

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Paperback: 9781138236608
pub: 2016-10-11
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This book critically examines the process of statebuilding by the EU, focusing on its attempts to build Member States in the Western Balkan region.

This book analyses the European Union's policies towards, and the impact they have, upon the states of the Western Balkans, and assesses how these affect the nature of EU foreign policy. To this end, it focuses on the tools and mechanisms that the EU employs in its enlargement policy and examines the new instruments of direct intervention (in Bosnia and Kosovo), political coercion (in the case of Croatia and Serbia in relation to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), and stricter conditionality in the Western Balkan countries.

The book discusses the key aim of this special form of statebuilding, which is to establish functional liberal-democratic states in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia in order for them to join the EU and to cope with the responsibilities and pressures of membership in the future. However, the authors argue that while the EU sees itself as an international actor that promotes and protects liberal-democratic values, norms and principles, its experiences in the Western Balkans demonstrate how the EU´s actions in the region have undermined the basic principles of democratic decision-making (such as the European support for impositions in Bosnia) and international law (Kosovo), and have consequently contributed to new tensions (see police reform in Bosnia, and the tensions between Kosovo and Serbia) and dependencies.

This book will be of much interest to students of statebuilding, EU politics, global governance and IR/Security Studies in general.


‘This volume seeks explain why the EU has been able to transform, even strengthen, the states in the Western Balkans. The EU does so through state building, yet it faces local resistance. Contributions by leading experts of the region explain the specifics on the ground and help to explain the difficult path these countries face from the demise of Yugoslavia to possibly joining the European Union. This volume brings to the fore the weakness in the EU external policy approach of reaching out to the political elites in the countries of the Western Balkans without giving a clear signal – a policy that clearly has had at best mixed results in the region. This path-breaking book is a must read for anyone with an interest in the developments in South Eastern Europe.’ – Amy Verdun, University of Victoria, Canada

Table of Contents

PART I: Theory of Enlargement and Member State-Building 1. Introduction: The EU and Statebuilding in the Western Balkans, Soeren Keil and Zeynep Arkan 2. The Limits of Normative Power? EU Member State-Building in the Western Balkans, Soeren Keil and Zeynep Arkan 3. Building on Experience? EU Enlargement and the Western Balkans, Erhan İçener and David Phinnemore PART II: Case Studies 4. The Normative Power of the EU in Croatia: Mixed Results, Sanja Badanjak 5. The Role of the EU in the statehood and democratization of Montenegro, Jelena Džankić 6. The EU in Macedonia: from inter to intra-ethnic political mediator in an accession deadlock, Simonida Kacarska 7. Signaling right and turning left: The response to EU-conditionality in Serbia, Mladen Mladenov and Bernhard Stahl 8. The EU’s ‘Limited Sovereignty – Strong Control’ Approach in the Process of Member State Building in Kosovo, Gëzim Krasniqi and Mehmet Musaj 9. Not-So-Great Expectations: The EU and the Constitutional Politics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valery Perry PART III: Comparative Perspectives 10. The European Union and the Western Balkans: Time to Move away from Retributive Justice?, Olivera Simić 11. The Political Economy of Accession: Forming Economically Viable Member States, Will Bartlett PART IV: Conclusion 12. Theory and Practice of EU Member-State Building in the Western Balkans, Soeren Keil and Zeynep Arkan

About the Editors

Soeren Keil is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK.

Zeynep Arkan is Lecturer in International Relations at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Intervention and Statebuilding

The series publishes monographs and edited collections analysing a wide range of policy interventions associated with statebuilding. It asks broader questions about the dynamics, purposes and goals of this interventionist framework and assesses the impact of externally-guided policy-making.

Advisory Board: Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, Aberystwyth University; Morten Boas, NUPI; Adam Branch, San Diego State University; David Chandler, University of Westminster; Adrian Gallagher, University of Leeds; Luke Glanville, Australian National University; Shahar Hameiri, Murdoch University; John Heathershaw, University of Exeter; Eric Heinze, University of Oklahoma; Robert Murray, University of Alberta; Lee P. M. Seymour, University of Amsterdam; Timea Spitka, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security