Political Trends & Dynamics

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By providing regular analysis and commentary on current affairs in Southeast Europe, Dialogue SOE aims to broaden the discourse on peace and stability while countering prevalent securitization narratives. This involves a comprehensive understanding of human security, including structural sources of conflict.

Peace and stability initiatives represent a decades-long cornerstone of the FES’s work in Southeast Europe. Both democratization and socio-economic justice are intrinsic aspects of a larger progressive peace policy in the region, but so too are consistent threat assessments and efforts to prevent conflict before it erupts.

Related Publications

Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: Bilateral Disputes in Southeast Europe

The Western Balkans remain the site of numerous, protracted bilateral disputes. Most of these concern competing claims to territory, identity, the status of minorities and, in some cases, name disputes (Macedonia is the most famous example of the latter but similar issues exist in parts of Bosnia). From Sarajevo to Skopje, and Kosovo to Cyprus, a significant number of polities in the region remain riven by fundamental questions concerning their political and territorial integrity.

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Publication Publication Social and Economic Justice Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: Inequality in Southeast Europe

The region of Southeast Europe (SEE) has been faced with exceptionally challenging social, economic and political transformations in recent decades. One such challenge is the high level of income inequality. However, despite economic inequality’s potentially dire repercussions, not limited to poverty and social exclusion, a decline in economic growth or even social conflict, it has not occupied a prominent place in SEE governments’ policies and programs. As forces such as technological change and globalization are bound to increase economic disparity even further, it is high time for governments in the region to adopt policies to combat inequality.

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Publication Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: Religion and Secularism in Southeast Europe

Southeastern Europe is a genuine cultural mosaic. Despite the claims of nationalists, no polity in the region is truly homogeneous; ethnic and religious communities intersect and blend together all across the region and have done so for centuries. Even in the wake of the 20th century, one marked in the region by bouts of inter-communal and sectarian strife, the region is still, in many respects, defined by its diversity.

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Publication Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: The Digital Frontier in Southeast Europe

A specter is haunting Southeast Europe — the specter of digital transformation. At least, that it is the hope by many in Europe and the region itself. Still largely defined by (the remains) of socialist (post) industrialism, Southeast Europe’s economic and social transition towards the digital frontier has been marked by incremental and irregular movement.

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Publication Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: Gender in Politics in Southeast Europe

2017 was a major year in the advancement of women’s issues and women’s causes, indeed, one of the most significant in decades. The #MeToo campaign, and the campaigns which preceded it, cast into sharp relief the endemic culture of sexual assault and abuse that permeates much of the professional world. And while the focus was primarily on Hollywood and the media and entertainment sector, conditions are, if anything worse, for working women outside the limelight.

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Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: Beyond Reconciliation in Southeastern Europe

Almost three decades ago, at a time when the rest of Europe was reveling in the peaceful conclusion of the Cold War, the former Yugoslavia imploded into a frenzy of internecine warfare and the consequences still weigh on the region. Yet while the war was still raging, on 25 May 1993, the UN Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with an authority to prosecute and try individuals on four categories of offenses: grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws or customs of war, genocide and crimes against humanity in (the now former) Yugoslavia.

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Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: Emerging Leadership in Southeast Europe

The recent change in government in Macedonia, a small (symbolic, yet important) step forward in

Bosnian-Serbian relations embodied by to the first Serbian presidential visit to Bosnia after six years,

and Montenegro’s final integration into NATO, have all provided a much needed dose of good news

in Southeast Europe.

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Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: NATO in Southeast Europe

The Euro-Atlantic institutional framework is the future of the Western Balkans. Or, at least, that has been the mantra in Brussels and Washington for the better part of the last two decades. European integration, arguably the more complex of the two undertakings, has been prominent in the international community’s engagement in the region. Both Slovenia and Croatia are now EU members, and Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia are each official candidate countries, with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application underway. But what of the Atlantic half of the integration process?

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Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends & Dynamics: Regional Cooperation in the Western Balkans

Re-forging bonds between the countries of the Western Balkans (and southeastern Europe more broadly) has been an overarching issue and policy goal since the breakup of Yugoslavia. Regional cooperation has been the hallmark of EU policy since the signing of the Stability Pact in 1999. Various efforts since then (free trade, energy and transport infrastructure, the fight against corruption and organized crime, youth cooperation) have included both the Western Balkans states themselves and also the EU, the U.S., neighboring countries, and key international institutions and organizations.

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Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: Civic Mobilizations

A crisis of democratic legitimacy has been building up in Southeast Europe for years, despite the best efforts of democracy promoters from within and beyond the region. Led by the EU, the international community prescribed a model of democratic and economic transition in the aftermath of the Yugoslav Wars that they hoped would make the region both prosperous and stable. While significant progress has been achieved, informed observers understand also that Balkan leaders often pay mere lipservice to reform while actual democratic development is backsliding.

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Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: December 2017 - January 2017

The winter months were less calm than one might expect regarding political dynamics in Southeast Europe. As in the previous period, trends within and between countries have not lent much hope for positive change. Nationalist notions have remained prominent, as seen in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the public discourse was dominated by nativist narratives, or in the case of the relations between Serbia and Kosovo, where an attempt at symbolic politics followed well-known patterns of testing and provocation.

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Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: November 2016

Elections and bilateral issues shaped Southeast Europe in November 2016. Election results in Bulgaria and Moldova raised concerns over a possible change in the geopolitical landscape. Potentially historic negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus suffered a setback without a breakthrough or concrete results.

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Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: September-October 2016

In this period almost all of Southeastern Europe was witnessing numerous significant events and developments, such as snap elections in Croatia and general and local elections in Montenegro. At the same time, Macedonia started preparing for new elections while the talks about the reunification of Cyprus and also negotiations about the resolution of the Greek debt crisis continued. However, one event that above all others has the potential to have an impact on the security situation in the region was the referendum that was held in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska on September 25.

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Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends and Dynamics: June - July 2016

The overall situation in Southeast Europe has been deteriorating in terms of security and

political stability. This is primarily due to fallout from the 15 July attempted coup in Turkey, which has had repercussions almost everywhere in the region, but also because of a deterioration in relations between Croatia and Serbia.

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Publication Publication Progressive Peace Policy Publication Political Trends & Dynamics

Political Trends & Dynamics: April - May 2016

Peace and stability initiatives represent a decades-long cornerstone of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s work in southeastern Europe. Recent events have only reaffirmed the centrality of Southeast European stability with-in the broader continental security paradigm.

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Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Dialogue Southeast Europe

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+387 33 711 541

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