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  • Author: Marilena Koppa
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article explores the role of Greece in the Balkans since the end of Communism and the impact of the sovereign debt crisis that followed. Since the beginning of the 1990s, while Greece failed to accomplish its vocation at the political level, at the level of the economy the country acted as an important regional actor. The article examines the dynamics of the Greek crisis on the Balkan economies and analyses the major challenges for Greece in this new reality. At the same times, it tries to identify the triple crisis faced currently by Greece: at the level of credibility and status, at the level of mediation between the region and the EU and, finally, at the level of the gradual peripherisation of the country.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Migration, European Union, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Balkans
  • Author: Mehmet Ugur Ekinci
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article provides a general overview of Turkey's relations with the Western Balkans during the AK Party government. Although the Western Balkans has always been of primary interest for Turkey, the relations with this region had progressed only slowly and partially until the mid-2000s. From that time onwards, the convergence of a number of factors, including Turkey's economic progress, the AK Party's active foreign policy vision, the growth of civil society and the business sector, and favorable international political and economic conditions created new opportunities for Turkey in the Western Balkans. Consequently, the relations between Turkey and the Western Balkans has developed rapidly, especially in the economic and social spheres. Meanwhile, Turkey still has to deal with certain challenges and shortcomings for further deepening of these relations and their translation into political influence.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Economics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Balkans
  • Author: Peter Brezáni, Tomás Strázay
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The twenty-first century began with a vastly unprecedented approach which broke the pattern of EU group enlargements. Three candidates from three different geographical areas of Europe, and with rather divergent political and economic backgrounds, began negotiations with the EU on their future accession: Croatia as a pioneer from the post-war region of the Western Balkans, Turkey as the oldest candidate country (having applied for EU membership in 1987), and Iceland, one of the remaining EFTA states and a member of the European Economic Area. The latest version of the EU's Enlargement Strategy lists all the European states which could be considered for EU membership in the foreseeable future. As Iceland has recently put its accession negotiations on hold, this article focuses on the Western Balkan region and Turkey, giving an overview of some of the specifics of the EU accession process and the actual status of the negotiations under way. Any forecast concerning future EU enlargements with a time horizon of at least ten years from now should consider first of all these countries, with other European states eligible for EU membership being considered only afterward.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Balkans, Iceland
  • 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: Jean-Pierre Pagé, Anne De Tinguy, Jacques Sapir, Julien Vercueil, Hélène Clément-Pitiot, Matthieu Combe, Vitaly Denysyuk, Raphaël Jozan
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Dans le Tableau de bord d’Europe centrale et orientale et d’Eurasie de 2009, nous écrivions que les pays de l’Europe centrale et orientale étaient « touchés mais pas coulés » par la crise mondiale. Quatre ans après, ce diagnostic est toujours valable. Si l’Union européenne reste pour eux un idéal et si l’adhésion à cette union demeure un projet clairement balisé pour les Etats qui n’en sont pas encore membres, celle-ci, engluée dans ses contradictions, paraît trop souvent absente, silencieuse. Aux populations qui lui demandent un meilleur niveau de vie et plus de justice sociale, elle répond par des exigences de réformes et d’austérité et alimente ainsi dangereusement leurs désenchantements. Savoir leur répondre, c’est le défi majeur de l’Union européenne aujourd’hui. Les pays de l’Eurasie, s’ils sont moins directement touchés par la crise de la zone euro et conservent, en conséquence, une croissance nettement plus élevée, ont d’autres préoccupations. Fortement sollicités par la Russie qui entend consolider sa zone d’influence avec la concrétisation de l’Union économique eurasiatique, ils sont aussi l’objet de l’attraction qu’exerce sur eux l’Union européenne – comme en témoignent éloquemment les évènements survenus en Ukraine – et, de plus en plus, la Chine. Cet espace est donc actuellement dans une recomposition qui conditionne les possibilités de son développement.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Markets, Nationalism, Natural Resources, European Union, Finance, Multilateralism, Europeanization, Multinational Corporations
  • Political Geography: Poland, Lithuania, Kosovo, Estonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Balkans, Romania, Macedonia, Hungary, Albania, Croatia, Latvia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Western Europe, Slovenia, Slovakia, European Union, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Borut Pahor
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features an address by His Excellency Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia, titled The Future of Europe, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans, Slovenia
  • 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: Žarko Petrović, Dušan Reljic
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The vigor which has characterized the Turkish approach to the Western Balkans since the end of the Cold War has transformed the country into an important regional actor from its previous position as a distant neighbor that showed little interest. Although Turkey and the Western Balkan countries have in the meanwhile achieved the most intensive relationship since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey has not yet displayed the economic capacity and political weight that could make it compete with the magnetism of the European Union for Western Balkan countries. Turkish cultural influence, although significantly widened in the last few years, particularly through investments in educational institutions, is mostly limited to the Muslim population in the region. While potential EU membership remains the most important driver for the political elites in the region, the stalled EU membership prospects of both Turkey and the countries of the region might change this in the future.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics
  • Political Geography: 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: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: In the World Leaders Forum address titled, Kosovo\'s Road Ahead, President Atifete Jahjaga discusses the current state of the Republic of Kosovo and the plans for its future. Co-sponsored by The Harriman Institute.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Kosovo, Balkans
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: In the World Leaders Forum address entitled, Austerity vs. Stimulus: Lithuanian Experience, President Dalia Grybauskaitė will discuss the challenges facing Lithuania, and her short and long-term goals for building a sustainable and fast-growing economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Lithuania, Balkans