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This Friday, Sept. 5, Professor Milada Vachudova will be speaking on “The European Union and Democracy Promotion: Stabilizing the Neighborhood” as part of our Friday Lecture Series at noon on the 4th floor of the GEC. We hope to see you there!

The risk of instability in the Western Balkans has made the dividends from the EU’s “democratizing effect” especially substantial. UNC-CH Professor Milada Vachudova argues that the enlargement process continues to have a ‘democratizing effect’ as Western Balkans candidates and proto-candidates respond to the incentives of EU membership: Political parties have changed their agendas to make them EU-compatible, and governments have implemented policy changes to move forward in the pre-accession process. Yet the EU is taking on candidates with extremely difficult initial conditions, most seriously the capture of the state by political and economic elites sustained by organized crime and weak rule of law. At the same time, the EU’s leverage is hampered by problems with consistency (most starkly in Macedonia), legitimacy, and expertise—especially in the area of the rule of law. Professor Vachudova will look especially at the cases of Serbia and Bosnia—and ask whether Serbia continues to give cause for hope, and Bosnia, for despair, when it comes to domestic reform.

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