Loughborough University
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Peace in the Balkans: the influence of Euro-Atlantic actors in the promotion of security-community-relations in southeastern Europe

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posted on 2011-01-18, 12:37 authored by Emilian Kavalski
This thesis examines processes of peace-promotion in the Balkans since the end of the Cold War. It is conducted from the perspective of International Relations theory and as such identifies peace as a pattern of order defined by the analytical framework of security communities. In this respect, the thesis argues that the initiation of a security community in the Balkans is a result of the post- 1999 international socialisation of regional decision-making by the EU and NATO. It, therefore, advances the concept of an elite security community as the embryonic stage of securitycommunity- building. The focus on state-elites is an outcome of the procedural dynamics of socialisation, where it is the decision-making behaviour that signifies compliance with externallypromoted standards. The conjecture is that the promotion of peace in the Balkans is the result of the extension of the Euro-Atlantic security community. The inference is that both the EU and NATO tend to be more convincing agents of socialisation as a result of their association/partnership and accession programmes. Being a complex and context specific process, the conditioning of Balkan states into a security-community-pattern of relations is underwritten by the Euro-Atlantic exercise of socialising power. This notion of power, however, is not defined as the control of policy-outcomes, but instead emphasises the ability of external actors to cause change in decision-making behaviour. The thesis also argues that the process of international socialisation has different effects depending on the nature of statehood in the target entities - in integrated states the external agency is both more immediate to discern and implement, while in awkward states the process tends to be longer and more intricate. Yet, as the case of the Balkans attests, the extension of the Euro-Atlantic security community to the region depends on the viable (even if distant) prospect of membership in the EU and NATO. In this way the thesis contributes to understanding the early stages of initiating a security community, as well as the role played by international actors in its promotion.



  • Social Sciences


  • Politics and International Studies


© Emilian Kavalski

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en