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'Pre-accession Europeanization': the case of Serbia and Kosovo

Economides, Spyros and Ker-Lindsay, James (2015) 'Pre-accession Europeanization': the case of Serbia and Kosovo. Journal of Common Market Studies, 53 (5). pp. 1027-1044. ISSN 0021-9886

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Identification Number: 10.1111/jcms.12238


This article argues that there is much confusion surrounding Serbia’s landmark decision to engage in a process of normalization with Kosovo. Rather than undergoing a process of Europeanization, whereby a fundamental transformation in the underlying rationale and processes of decision-making occurred, as some have argued, the changes in Serbia’s policy are in fact based on material concerns. By tracing relations in the EU-Serbia-Kosovo triangle, the article shows that change in Serbia’s approach towards Kosovo is based on pragmatism and political opportunism, rather than absorption, adaptation, convergence or identity formation. What we have witnessed is a more short-term, interest based policy shift serving very specific economic purposes. In conceptual terms, this is better understood as a policy of rationally instrumental ‘pre-Accession Europeanization’ rather than as a process of adaptive normative Europeanization as more conventionally understood in the literature.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Divisions: European Institute
International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2015 09:46
Last Modified: 29 May 2024 01:48
Funders: National Bank of Greece

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