Security Transitions in the Western Balkans - From Conflict Zone to Security Community?
The last decade has seen a positive change in regional and national politics in the Western Balkans: from a conflict-ridden region threatening the wider European peace and security area, the Western Balkans has witnessed increasing regional cooperation and efforts at joining Euro-Atlantic institutions. Is this a sustainable trend? Are these transitions likely to continue? What are the drivers and obstacles for these processes?
Analytica together with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), the Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP) and five other think tanks from the Western Balkans will examine these strategic priorities, by studying how the processes of democracy- and institution- building and regional cooperation contribute to the region’s transformation from a conflict zone towards a security community.
- To develop a better understanding of the security transitions in the Western Balkans; the national as well as the regional dynamics.
- To increase the research and institutional capacity of Western Balkans research institutions, support regional research cooperation and allow for establishment of research networks that would study regional developments and challenges in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia)
- To assist the exchange of skills and knowledge between Western Balkans’ and Norwegian social scientists and thus narrow the gap between the state of social science research in the Western Balkans and Norway.
- To contribute to better regional and national security policy and institutions through analytically and methodologically sound research findings.
Besides the research findings, an underlying objective of this project is to strengthen the research and institutional capacity of research institutions in the Western Balkans and assist Western Balkans researchers in joining the international social science trends and debates. Over the last decades they have only sporadically taken part in this interaction, due to wars, isolation, and the lack of attention and resources from the Western Balkans governments.
The research activities of the project will be implemented through four tracks of research:
- Security policy change since 2000 – this track will examine how security policies in the Western Balkans states evolved since the end of the post-Yugoslav secession wars and ethnic conflicts.
- Regional identity and national identity change – looking at political discourse and rhetoric of national political elites, this track will analyze did the construction of national identities, after 2000, give impetus to creation of regional identity
- European enlargement and security policies – this track will investigate the external influence on Western Balkans’ regional dynamics, mostly focusing on EU’s and NATO policy instruments employed at national and regional level in the Western Balkans and how they provided input and impetus for transformation of antagonistic relationships into trust and cooperation.
- Theory development and methodology – this research cluster aims to increase our understanding of security communities at the theoretical level.