WESTERN BALKANS AT THE CROSSROADS:
ASSESSING NON-DEMOCRATIC EXTERNAL INFLUENCE ACTIVITIES
Project duration: 10/2019 – 03/2021
Scientific advisor: Prof. Ioannis Armakolas
The project team consists of ten junior and senior researchers from within the region with multidisciplinary scholarly backgrounds.
“Western Balkans at the Crossroads: Ways Forward in Analyzing External Actors' Influence ,” run by the PSSI, is a follow-up project that aims to build upon a knowledge base established in the preceding project “Western Balkans at the Crossroads: Assessing Non-Democratic External Influence Activities ,” which mapped, analyzed and publicized Russian, Chinese, Turkish, and Gulf
State influence activities in the region.
The second project’s phase focuses on in-depth socially rooted research and investigative journalism. Its design reflects the aim to go beyond conventional analytical frameworks, overcoming ideologically constructed stereotypes and methodological nationalism, while combining a variety of methodological approaches from security studies to visual anthropology.
The principal research topics focus on geopolitics and fading democracy discourses and perceptions, policy making and business as well as illiberal leverage in the Western Balkan societies.
PLANNED PROJECT ACTIVITIES
Project outputs will consist of fifteen analytical studies and fifteen journalistic articles drawing on their findings. Major observations on external actors’ influence gathered throughout the work on the project will be summarized in a final reflection paper.
A collective monography presenting the studies in one publication shall also be issued. A concluding conference will be held in Prague to present major project findings and discuss ways forward in analyzing external actors’ engagements in the Western Balkans among the expert and policy-making community dealing with the region.