Greece: On a New “Mission Impossible”?

Greece’s formal graduation from the 3rd financial assistance program, on 20 August 2018, concluded an arduous and dramatic trajectory that had begun in April 2010, when it became the first Eurozone member state to be bailed out. Though symbolically important and a welcome development, the completion of the 3rd program leaves no room for celebration.

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Overcoming the Democratisation Deficit in the Western Balkans: A Road to (No)Where?

The internal weaknesses of the process of democratisation in the Western Balkans ensue from reinforcing a system where (ethno)politics and (ethno)political entrepreneurs use all available strategies to deprive citizens of any political agency, thus working towards obedient democracies while keeping real political power within closed circles. The conscious deepening of differences, maintaining negative tensions and instrumentalising – predominantly ethnic – identities for political or other particular purposes are some of the crucial features of (ethno)politics in the Western Balkans.

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On Europe’s External Borders: Situation Report on Migration Management

Contrary to the impression given in much political discourse, 2015 was not the year when mass migration to Europe started. The Western Mediterranean Route has been an important migration route for Africans wanting to enter Europe via Spain for decades. The Central Mediterranean Route has also been popular for a long time, with Libya a transit point for many on the way to Italy. The Eastern Mediterranean Route had also been under pressure in the years prior to 2015. Arrivals on the Western Balkan Route increased when Schengen visa restrictions were relaxed for five Balkan countries in 2012. Other routes via the Black Sea and Russia were historically relevant as well.

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Social Policy in Political Party Programs: Does Equality Matter

In order to describe a decade-long disregard of political parties towards social issues and marginalized groups in general, IKS brings forth this concise analysis that focuses on both the space dedicated by political parties /coalitions to social issues in their programs as well as on the quality of the offers made.

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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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The Transformation of Organised Labour: Mobilising Power Resources to Confront 21st Century Capitalism

At the beginning of the 21st century, organised labour is facing new challenges as profound changes in the world of labour have taken place. Major socio-economic trends such as precarisation, informalisation, globalisation and digitalisation of work have contributed to a weakening of trade unions in most developed countries and also many parts of the Global South. Thus, for a long time it was a truism that organised labour was in decline.

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Us vs. Them in Central and Eastern Europe: Populism, the Refugee Other and the Re-Consideration of National Identity

The European Union (EU) faced an unprecedented challenge in 2015. Commonly described as the migration crisis, a strong influx of refugees arrived to the continent. These refugees mostly came through the Balkan route, which spans from the Turkish-Greek border all the way to Austria and Germany. The sudden arrival of more than a million people put the EU and its member states under considerable political and administrative stress, producing a multitude of politicized—and in many cases securitized—narratives on what the crisis was about, and what was at stake.

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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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