Category Archives: Contested states

Feb 7 2015

Ten rules by a 21st-century Machiavelli for the Balkan Prince

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What would Machiavelli say about the Balkans today?, wonders Florian Bieber. In this letter for a modern Balkan Prince, he outlines ten rules that would allow the Prince to keep the power whatever the conditions. ‘Ruling is like dancing on … Continue reading

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Feb 6 2015

The Brussels Agreement “generated by conversations, not by relentless pressure”

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The leaders of Kosovo and Serbia are due to meet in Brussels next week to resume the dialogue which produced an agreement on normalising relations in 2013. Sir Robert Cooper, one of the lead EU negotiators in the process, talks … Continue reading

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Dec 13 2014

Kosovo is a full member of the IOC. So what?

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What links sport, nation-building and international diplomacy? In the Balkans, sport has often been (mis)used as a nation branding tool. The recent recognition of Kosovo by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a further occasion to reflect. “Although it remains to … Continue reading

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Nov 13 2014

The scandal about the EU in Kosovo: a call for a judicial audit

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In the wake of the recent scandal affecting the EU’s most expensive foreign mission, Andrea Lorenzo Capussela gives a comprehensive overview of the shortcomings of an idea that he describes as well conceived but badly managed:  “Ever since 2011 it was clear that … Continue reading

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Sep 17 2014

Scotland’s sui generis

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How should Serbia look at the Scottish case for independence – which suddenly appears to be capable of becoming as “sui generis” as Kosovo? Dušan Spasojević argues that there is at least one thing Serbia should not do – relish with malignant … Continue reading

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Jun 19 2014

Power politics on the outskirts of the EU: why Transnistria matters

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In September this year, Transnistria, the separatist region located in the Eastern part of Moldova, is set to celebrate the 24th anniversary of its de-facto independence. And yet there is little scope for celebrations – as only the contested states … Continue reading

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Jun 8 2014

Referendums: A Legitimate Democratic Tool or a Mechanism for Nationalist Co-optation?

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Scholars and practitioners need to delve deeper into how referendums affect liberal democracy. They can be co-opted by various groups to advance nationalist and exclusivist political agendas, warns Maria Koinova.

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