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Geopolitics in the Western Balkans: linkages, leverages and gatekeepers

Enika Abazi

Academicus International Scientific Journal, 2021, issue 24, 85-108

Abstract: With the end of the Cold War, Western Balkans countries have embraced the perspective of integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures, with the exception of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina regarding accession in NATO. The return of international system from hegemonic to competitive followed by the ambiguities that accompany the integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures marked the return of competitors like China, Russia and Turkey in the regional affairs. To map out sources of influence and the context in which foreign interferences affect decision-making and interests, transfer ideas and norms in the region, the paper uses the concept of linkages that facilitate the understanding of opportunities and constrains, benefits and costs resulting from established relationship between Western Balkan countries and different international and regional powers. The paper makes a multi-level investigation of linkages developed between Western Balkans and the leverage of the most influential actors during the last decade, without undermining historical and societal context that favor of disfavor them.

Keywords: Western Balkans; EU; linkages; cooperation; integration; power; leverage; small power (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Handle: RePEc:etc:journl:y:2021:i:24:p:85-108