Events

The Working Group on the Western Balkans: Confronting Illegitimacy

June 27, 2011 // 10:00am3:00pm

The EU and the US agree that the long-term goal for the Western Balkans is European integration. For a variety of reasons, however, progress on this goal has stalled. This series aims at launching a discussion on the hurdles to enlargement in the Western Balkans, the tools available to various international actors in the region, and how these resources might best be applied to reach the goal of integration most efficiently. These meetings, therefore, address issues that are at the core of the making the Transatlantic relationship work.

Democracy and legitimacy are closely linked: democratic elections empower legitimate officials to run state institutions that operate within the rule of law. In the Western Balkans, however, there are multiple challenges to legitimate institutions including, parallel power structures, corruption, low confidence in the judiciary and contested elections, to name a few. The result is that it is difficult for civil society to pursue its goals through democratic institutions or elections, and individuals have a hard time seeking remedies through state courts.

The EU accession process is making a limited impact on improving legitimacy and democracy in the region. Working Group participants will discuss the sources of illegitimacy in the region and how the Transatlantic partners can work to improve the quality of democracy in the region.

9:45 Coffee

10:00am Meeting begins; Welcome and Introduction by Nida Gelazis, Senior Associate, European Studies

Discussion questions: How is the EU accession agenda and other international policy goals (such as the ICTY) undermined by nationalist rhetoric in the Western Balkans? How has the market transition created opportunities for elected leaders or political parties to capture state institutions or profit directly from privatization?

Introduction to the topic:

Jelena Subotic, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Georgia State University

John Gould, Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science, Colorado College

 

12:00 Lunch

 

1:00 How have internationally-driven policies to combat corruption and organized crime missed their mark? How can EU accession compete with internal incentives that support ‘business as usual’?

Introduction to the topic:

Timothy Donais, Associate Professor in the Department of Global Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University Stefan Popov, Executive Director, RiskMonitor Foundation

Whit Mason, Director of Political Risk Analysis, Pty, Ltd; Non-resident fellow of the Lowy Institute for International Policy and Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University

 

3:00 Meeting ends

Participants:

Ambassador Robert Beecroft
U.S. Department of State
 

Mietek Boduszynski
U.S. Department of State
 

David Bosco
American University
 

Michael Dziedzic
USIP
 

Nida Gelazis
Wilson Center
 

John Gould
Colorado College

John Lampe
University of Maryland and WWICS Scholar
 

James O’Brien
Albright Stonebridge Group
 

Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch
Delegation of Austria to the OECD

Andrew Radin
MIT and WWICS Scholar

Dusan Reljic
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
 

Robert Benjamin
National Democratic Institute
 

Ian Bond
British Embassy

 

Matt Palmer
U.S. Department of State
 

Timothy Donais
Wilfrid Laurier University
 

Sharon Fisher
IHS Global Insight
 

Gisella Gori
EU Delegation
 

James Hooper
Public International Law & Policy Group
 

Whit Mason
Australian National University

Ginta Palubinskas
George Mason University and WWICS Scholar
 

Stefan Popov
RiskMonitor Foundation
 

Akis Sakellariou
CSIS
 

Kelsi Stine
Project on Justice in Times of Transition
 

Jelena Subotic
Georgia State University
 

 

 

 

Location: 
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
 
Event Speakers List: 
  • Senior Political Advisor, Delegation of the European Union to the United States, Washington, D.C.
  • John R. Lampe // Senior Scholar
    Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Public International Law & Policy Group
  • Principal, Albright Stonebridge Group
  • Australian National University
  • Delegation of Austria to the OECD
  • Ginta Palubinskas // Title VIII-Supported Summer Research Scholar
    George Mason University
  • Andrew Radin // Title VIII Research Scholar
    Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Risk Monitor Foundation

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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Emily R. Buss // Program Assistant

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