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  • Author: Mehmet Ugur Ekinci
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: While some observers, referring to recent developments in the Middle East, are questioning whether Turkey's “zero problems with neighbours” doctrine is still in effect, Turkey's relations with the Balkans are enjoying their golden age. Since the mid-2000s, bilateral relations with all governments in the region have been in good terms, social and economic relations have intensi­fied and Turkey's public image has become increasingly positive.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Balkans
  • Author: Tanja A. Börzel, Digdem Soyaltin
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: Research on Europeanization and domestic change has moved south-eastwards and was provided with another real-world experiment when it has meet with Turkey. This paper explores to what extent Europeanization approaches travel to Turkey, which does have a membership perspective that looks, however, ever less credible. The first part outlines the main findings of research on 'External Europeanization' focusing on factors that have limited or at least qualified the domestic impact of the EU in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) and Western Balkan (WB) accession countries. The paper, then, discusses to what extent Europeanization approaches need further qualification when applied to Turkey, which squares on democracy with the Western Balkans (with the exception of Croatia), but whose statehood is less limited. We argue that existing Europeanization approaches, largely, account for the overall moderate degree of Europeanization in Turkey. Yet, selective and differential domestic changes are mostly related to the extent to which EU conditionality helps domestic actors gain or hold political power and push their own political agenda. The paper concludes by summarizing the major implications Turkey's accession to the EU has for Europeanization approaches and discussing why Turkey is not a case sui generis.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Balkans
  • Author: Valérie Vicky Miranda
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: To what extent is foreign policy driven by norms and/or by interests? Considering the main trends of Italian foreign policy after World War II and two case studies, the Balkans and Libya, this paper investigates the role played by norms and interests and the interconnection between the two in Italian foreign policy. In the Balkans, norms and interests have neatly dovetailed: supporting democratization and the rule of law has also meant furthering Italian security and economic interests in the region. By contrast, Libya was the theatre of an essentially interest-driven foreign policy. Nevertheless, the Italian government's response to the Libyan crisis between March and May 2011 has interestingly marked a rupture from the recent past.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Libya, Kosovo, Balkans, North Africa, Italy
  • Author: Patricia Weiss Fagan
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Programs to return refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes after conflict, implemented by national authorities with international support, frequently leave far too many without viable futures. The measures are often inadequate for three reasons: a widely shared but flawed assumption that the need to create a future for returnees is satisfied by restoring them to their prior lives; a lack of long-term engagement by implementing authorities; and a focus on rural reintegration when many refugees and IDPs are returning to urban areas. These arguments are illustrated in four country cases—Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Burundi. In each case, the places that refugees and IDPs were forced to flee have been greatly reshaped. They often lack security and economic opportunities; governance is weak and services are inadequate. Returnees have made choices about their futures in large part on the basis of these factors. While reclaiming land or receiving compensation for losses is important, the challenge for many returnees is to settle where they can maintain sustainable livelihoods; find peaceful living conditions; have access to health care, education, and employment opportunities; and enjoy full rights of citizenship. This may mean a move from rural to urban areas and a change in the source of income generation that has to be accounted for in the design of reintegration programs. Returning refugees and IDPs should be assisted for a sufficient amount of time to determine which location and livelihood will suit them best. For international organizations, this may involve greater creativity and flexibility in supporting returnees in urban settings. To accommodate inflows of returnees and their general mobility, national and local governments should develop urban planning strategies to manage the growth of their cities, coupled with regional development plans in rural areas that may involve investment in commercial agriculture. Linking rural and urban areas by strengthening government institutions can also provide returnees with more livelihood options and promote development.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Refugee Issues, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Middle East, Balkans, Burundi
  • Author: Aristidis P. Bitzenis, Vasileios A. Vlachos
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: With the fall of centrally planned economies in the Balkans, their liberalization and the opening of their borders to free trade and capital movements, Greece became more active in the generation of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI). Greece's OFDI stock increased from US$ 3 billion in 1990 to US$ 6 billion in 2000 and to US$ 38 billion in 2010. The Europeanization process of Turkey and the transition of the economies in the Balkans was accompanied by a gradual rise of FDI from Greece into those economies. More than half of Greece's OFDI stock – over US$ 20 billion in 2009 (67% of total) – is located in South-East Europe: in the Balkans, Cyprus and Turkey. While Greece's early OFDI flows were directed to the secondary sector to reduce costs, the bulk of later flows was directed to the services sector, as new markets were opened. This shift signifies the rise of major corporate players. The Greek Balkan policy, which commenced through the European Union, and the upgrading of the Athens Stock Exchange have positively affected Greece's position as a key regional investor. The expectations for sustaining this leading role, however, have been weakened recently since, due to the Greek sovereign debt crisis, Greek multinational enterprises (MNEs) disinvested US$ 1.6 billion from their FDI abroad in 2010.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Greece, Balkans, Cyprus
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), the larger of Bosnia and Herzegovina's two entities, is in crisis. Disputes among and between Bosniak and Croat leaders and a dysfunctional administrative system have paralysed decision-making, put the entity on the verge of bankruptcy and triggered social unrest. Much focus has been on the conflict that pits the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) against the Federation, but the parallel crisis within the Federation also deserves attention. The need for overhaul of the FBiH has been ignored because of belief that state-wide constitutional reform would solve most of its problems, but any state-level reform seems far off. Bosnia's challenges all have echoes at Federation level, though in simpler form. Reform in the Federation, starting with establishment of a parliamentary commission, is achievable and could give impetus to state-level reform, while improving the livelihoods of the people in Bosnia's larger entity. If it does not happen, Bosnia, which was wracked by three and a half years of war in the 1990s, may well slide toward new political and economic ungovernability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Balkans