REGIONAL IDENTITY: THE MISSING ELEMENT IN WESTERN BALKANS SECURITY COOPERATION Cover Image

REGIONAL IDENTITY: THE MISSING ELEMENT IN WESTERN BALKANS SECURITY COOPERATION
REGIONAL IDENTITY: THE MISSING ELEMENT IN WESTERN BALKANS SECURITY COOPERATION

Author(s): Cvete Koneska
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Beogradski centar za bezbednosnu politiku
Keywords: Western Balkans; Regional Cooperation; Regional Identity; Security; Orientalist Discourse; Balkanist Discourse

Summary/Abstract: This paper looks at the present state of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans, particularly in the field of security, and examines the reasons behind the limited progress of regional initiatives. Despite the present functional needs and external financial and moral support for regional cooperation in the Western Balkans, real progress is lacking. This paper claims that part of the reason behind this lies with the missing regional identity – a required component for transferring the necessary loyalties to any social group. Due to the negative connotation the ‘Balkans’ has in popular and political discourse, as well as the perception of the ‘Balkans’ as the opposite of ‘Europe’, political elites and populations at large are reluctant to identify with the Balkans. This makes security cooperation even less likely, since Balkanist discourse causes securitization of ones neighbours rather than cooperation. Finally, the western institution’s approach to enlargement, based on individual merit, causes regional cooperation to be seen in instrumental terms and a temporary stage before joining EU and NATO, which are regarded as the ultimate goals of the Western Balkans states.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 7-8
  • Page Range: 82-89
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: English