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Issue 5/2023: The Western Balkans. A bridge from Europe to Europe?


The ongoing war in Ukraine has brought the debate over the future of Europe back to the region of the Western Balkans, which not that long ago also experienced the brutality of war, mass murder, and hatred, resulting in ethnic cleansing as well as physical devastation and long-term trauma and divisions. Indeed, the Balkan wars, waged in the 1990s between the nations of a once federal state, are a cruel reminder of the dangers of uncontrolled ethnic nationalism and what weapon it can become in the hands of narcissistic leaders. The lands of Europe have seen the consequences of such emotions too many times.


The Western Balkans and Europe

Twenty years later. Exposing the hidden cause for the delayed EU integration of the Western Balkans Antonios Nestoras
Cake doughnuts and western diplomacy Leon Hartwell
Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. A perpetual state of stagnation Visar Xhambazi
Serbia continues to walk the tightrope Marta Szpala
Russia’s (fading) influence Katarina Tadić
Nationalism is still a potent force in Bosnia and Herzegovina Hikmet Karčić
Jewish connections in the Balkans and Eastern Europe Adam Balcer
Former Yugoslav nations deserve peace An interview with Gojko Božović


Kundera’s warnings are still relevant today A conversation with Samuel Abrahám

Essays and Analysis

The anatomies of evil Simona Merkinaite
The Kakhovka Dam explosion as Russia’s scorched earth tactic Zakhar Tropin
No school for the children of Izium Kateryna Pryshchepa
The Five Towers of the Kremlin Vakhtang Maisaia
Rethinking Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies in the West Veronica Snoj
The weaponisation of music in today’s Russia Tatevik Hovhannisyan
Slovaks seek a sense of normalcy Michaela Terenzani
A regional player? Nikodem Szczygłowski

Stories and ideas

Orwell’s warning of totalitarianism for today Luke Harding
The spirit of Estonia’s tradition of song Isabelle de Pommereau
Gagauzian youth contemplate their future Madeleine Cuckson
The long exodus William Fleeson
How vulnerable groups live in Belarus in the era of mass repressions Volha Kavalskaya

 Art, Culture and Society

Multilingual and multiple minorities. Who are the Balkan Jews? Katarzyna Taczyńska

History and Memory

The anatomy of betrayal Ihar Melnikau
The icon and the sarcophagus. Why the Golden Ring matters to the Kremlin in 2023 James C. Pearce


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