The region of the Balkans has become one of the emblematic features of the post-Cold War geography of international relations. Yet, despite the substantial number of analyses dealing with regional developments, these have remained strikingly atheoretical and, oddly, removed from the advances in the study of world politics. Rectifying such trend, this book is distinguished both by the questions it poses and the way it responds to them: How is peace (i.e. a security-community-order) initiated in the Balkans? Who are the dominant agents of such peace-promotion? What processes suggest the initiation of (lasting) peace in the Balkans? Under what circumstances do regional states comply with international standards? Such examination of peace-promotion in the Balkans contends that the mainstream suggestion of a 'nascent security community' is suggestive of a rather developed pattern of order. Instead, this study develops the concept of an elite security community as the embryonic stage of security-community-building and proposes that the initiation of security communities is dependent on three propensities: (i) external actors, who initiate and maintain the process as a result of their perception that an area/region is a place where peace should be established; (ii) elites, representing state decision-making and who could be induced by the external actors to follow prescribed patterns of policy-behaviour; (iii) international socialisation - the complex process of various programs and dynamics employed by the external actors to condition the target state-elites into peaceful international relations. The novel assertion is that in the Balkans these features become operational as a result of the 1999 Kosovo crisis, which represents a watershed simplifying the institutionalisation of Europe's security governance in a way that placed the EU and NATO central stage. In contrast to studies that examine the order-promoting effects of either the EU or NATO (mostly contextualised to the experience of Central and East European states), this book analyses the effects of both and compares their role in extending the European zone of peace to the Balkans. Moreover, unlike recent surveys on the pacification of the Balkans, which focus exclusively on the area of former Yugoslavia, this exploration provides a detailed comparative analysis of the role played by external actors in the Balkan region as a whole. This approach allows not only for making generalizations on the role of external agents in the Balkans, but also for problematising the involvement of the EU and NATO in the region and providing a well-informed discussion of their role in promoting security-community-practices to the region.
Extending the European Security Community
Constructing Peace in the Balkans