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Issue 3-4 2017: The Balkan Carousel

May 15, 2017 - New Eastern Europe - Issue

OkładkaNEE May-August 2017

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“The price of Europeanising the Balkans is much higher than the price of the Balkanisation of Europe,” claims Zagreb-based writer Miljenko Jergović in the opening essay to this issue of New Eastern Europe. This poignant statement calls for wide attention, especially of those who hold dear the idea of a united and expanding Europe. It points to the immense pressure that has been emerging within the region of the Western Balkans and which could have an effect on Europe as a whole. This also inclines that a better understanding of the Balkans is a prerequisite for a better understanding of the developments on the entire European continent.

This fact has been true before, although not always – as our authors point out – taken seriously. Thus, it is worthwhile reading the essay by Adam Balcer, who argues that since antiquity the region of the Western Balkans has been at the core of westernisation. It was the place where great powers battled for influence and where world wars erupted. In the 21st century a new scenario, with some similarities of the past, may be unfolding.

Throughout the whole issue, our authors who are either based in the region or avid readers of its developments, point out to some alarming trends that the power games may indeed be returning. Such is the case of Turkey as described by Tomasz Targański who highlights the rise of Neo-Ottomanism. Russian influence is also felt in the region as Kenneth Morrison and Jelena Milić argue in their respective essays. Equally worrisome is the issue of Islamic extremism that is reported by Tatyana Dronzina and Sulejman Muça to be seeking a foothold in Europe via the Balkans.

Despite these and other developments the West has proved wrong in some decisions that were made in regards to the Balkans. The most striking example of a flawed policy implementation is depicted by Christopher Bennett as he shows how the Dayton Peace Agreement has turned Bosnia and Herzegovina into Europe’s longest frozen conflict, with little desire for improving the status quo.




Is Europe losing the Balkans? Miljenko Jergović

The price of Europeanising the Balkans today is probably higher than it was 20 years ago – when a golden opportunity to bring stability to the region was missed. But it still remains incomparably cheaper than the price to be paid in the event of the Balkanisation of Europe.

Dayton at death’s door – Christopher Bennett

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s trajectory has been consistently and evidently downwards since 2006, with the pace of descent accelerating every year. Post-war optimism disappeared long ago to be replaced by a fatalistic cynicism.

De-radicalising the Western Balkans – Tatyana Dronzina and Sulejman Muça

The Western Balkans have become fertile ground for ISIS recruitment and a place of terrorist activity in the heart of Europe. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia require greater attention on the social, economic and political issues if de-radicalisation eff orts are to succeed before it is too late.

Without accountability, there is no closure – Morgan Meaker

A long road ahead for women in Kosovo – Sidita Kushi

Western Balkan memory games – Simone Benazzo

Presidential election in Serbia. Unfair but square – Jelena Milić

Protests, plots and proxies – Kenneth Morrison

Public media in a deeply fragmented country – Antonio Scancariello

Neo-Ottomanism. An empire being rebuilt? – Tomasz Targański

A new, old Central Europe? – Ziemowit Szczerek

The Balkans. A history of civilisation – Adam Balcer

What will Lukashaneka do next? – Michał Potocki

All Latvian politics is local – Koen Verhelst

East of the South: Malta and the post-Soviet space – Miłosz J. Zieliński

Passion over censorship – Mykola Riabchuk

Eastern Ukraine left in limbo – Maxim Rust

The legacy of the Revolution on Granite – Olga Onuch

Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine join forces – Jakub Bornio


Georgia’s thorny path to constitutionalism – An interview with Zaza Rukhadze

Georgia’s memory of communism  – An interview with Irakli Khvadagiani


The iron guards of Ukrainian nationalism – Marek Wojnar


Stories from Hotel Porin – Mislav Marjanović

Finding God in Kramatorsk – Paulina Siegień


Old divisions die hard – Linda Massino


Trying to please Jacques – Bartosz Marcinkowski

Doctor Love – Iwona Reichardt

Breaking the comfortable silence on the Holocaust – Linas Vildžiūnas

Seeking ground zero of the post-Soviet space – Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

The more things change, the more they stay the same – Kacper Dziekan

On change. In pain and fear – Tomasz Lachowski



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