148 Publications
EU enlargement

A very special relationship - Why Turkey's EU accession process will continue

11 Nov 2010

The widespread sense among observers that the Turkish EU accession process might be headed for imminent failure has been present from its very outset. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, however, the risk of a "train crash" in the accession talks is minimal. The reason for this is reassuringly self-evident: it is neither in Turkey's interest, nor the EU's, to derail the accession train.

EU enlargement

The Great Debate - Germany, Turkey and the Turks. Part 1: Intellectuals

21 Oct 2010

In 2004 a paperback appeared in German with the title Turkey and Europe – the positions. The book described the German debate on Turkish accession to the European Union. In the introduction, Claus Leggewie, the book's editor, outlined three big issues at the centre of this debate: the state of Turkish democracy; the relative backwardness of the Turkish economy; and geopolitics, including the question whether the EU would want to share a border with Iraq.


Georgia's Libertarian Revolution – Part three: Jacobins in Tbilisi

25 Apr 2010

The Rose Revolution of 2003 led to a power vacuum that was filled by a new elite of "Jacobins" who were committed to neoliberal economic reforms. These reforms had a number of negative consequences, including increased inequality, corruption, and social unrest.


Georgia's Libertarian Revolution – Part two: Bendukidze and Russian Capitalism

17 Apr 2010

Kakha Bendukidze played a crucial role in shaping Georgia's economic landscape during the post-Soviet era. As Minister of Economy of Georgia from 2004 to 2008, he implemented sweeping reforms that aimed to dismantle bureaucratic barriers and foster entrepreneurship.


Georgia's Libertarian Revolution – Part one: Georgia as a model

10 Apr 2010

Atlas Shrugged, a 1957 novel by the libertarian thinker Ayn Rand, is an ode to the free market, the minimalist state and the sovereignty of the individual. It is also a useful text to read if one wishes to understand the worldview of Georgia‟s most influential policy makers.

Visa liberalisation

Discussion paper: Isolating Kosovo? Kosovo vs Afghanistan 5:22

19 Nov 2009

In February 2008 Kosovo declared independence. France was the first EU member state to recognize the new state, followed by Germany, Great Britain, and all but five other EU member states (Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain). All this would not be easy, people acknowledged. It would require institutions and reforms, just as elsewhere in the Balkans – but there would now at least be a perspective for Kosovars to rejoin the European mainstream.

Visa liberalisation

Analysis: Bosnian Visa Breakthrough. Detailed Scorecard of Bosnia and Herzegovina's results in meeting the EU Schengen White List Conditions

16 Oct 2009

In May 2009, Bosnia and Herzegovina found itself last among five Western Balkan countries when it came to meeting a long list of difficult conditions necessary to qualify for visa-free travel to the EU. When the European Commission then decided in July 2009 not to offer visa-free travel to Bosnia, but to three other countries that met the benchmarks (Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), there were voices claiming that Bosnia was being discriminated against because of its Muslim population.


Noah's Dove Returns - Armenia, Turkey and the Debate on Genocide

21 Apr 2009

No single topic poisons relations between Turks and Armenians more than the 1915 destruction of the Armenian communities of Anatolia, and the question of whether it constituted genocide. In recent times the first signs of a rapprochement have appeared, with the political leadership on both sides making conciliatory gestures. For a normalisation of relations to take place, however, both sides will have to overcome some deeply entrenched prejudices.

Visa liberalisation

Background Paper: The White List Project. EU Policies on Visa-Free Travel for the Western Balkans

1 Nov 2008

When it comes to the EU, one of the greatest wishes of citizens of the Western Balkans is visa-free travel. Currently, citizens of all Western Balkan states have to obtain a short-stay visa from one of the embassies or consulates of the 24 Schengen zone countries in order to enter the Schengen area, which covers most of the EU. Applying for a visa is time-consuming, costly and stressful, with the very real risk of rejection.


ESI Briefing: Turkey's dark side - Party closures, conspiracies and the future of democracy

2 Apr 2008

2007 was a dramatic year for Turkish politics and society, even by the standards of a country used to political drama. However, few people would have expected 2008 to be even more volatile, and potentially catastrophic, for Turkish democracy. Today the headscarf has again become a potent symbol of the struggle between the conservative AKP government, reelected in July 2007 with overwhelming public support, and its Kemalist opponents.

EU enlargement

A referendum on the unknown Turk? Anatomy of an Austrian debate

30 Jan 2008

In this paper, we examine the history of Austrian attitudes towards Turkey's EU candidacy. Looking back over opinion polls of the past decade reveals a surprising finding: until 2002, there was very little difference between Austrian views towards Turkey and any other EU candidate. The current public mood does not have its roots in the distant past. Rather, it is a reflection of the recent behaviour of the Austrian political elite, and the direction in which they have chosen to take the public debate.

Western Balkans

A Bosnian Fortress

19 Dec 2007

Twelve years after its vicious war, Bosnia and Herzegovina has changed tremendously. It has seen the large-scale return of displaced persons, the return of property and comprehensive demilitarisation. Freedom of movement has been restored. Interethnic violence has disappeared. New institutions at the state level govern an increasingly integrated single market. The changes that have taken place in Bosnia over the past twelve years have been no less profound than those which transformed Western Europe in the 12 years after World War II.

Western Balkans

Discussion paper: The worst in class - How the international protectorate hurts the European future of Bosnia and Herzegovina

8 Nov 2007

The Serbian deputy prime minister initialed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU in Brussels yesterday. Earlier, the EU stated Bosnia and Herzegovina couldn't do the same due to failure to conform to police reform "European standards". This places Bosnia at the end of the EU membership queue, behind Croatia, Turkey, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia.


Sex and Power in Turkey - Feminism, Islam and the Maturing of Turkish Democracy

2 Jun 2007

Turkey's political discourse seems disconnected from its social dynamics. A minority, including 'authoritarian feminists', fears the threat to secular traditions and wishes for military intervention. Overlooking societal changes and recent achievements, they focus on their fear of political Islam. The key lesson is that progress on gender equality in Turkey crucially depends on its democracy's quality and inclusiveness.

Western Balkans

Discussion paper: Legal Dynamite - How a Bosnian court may bring closer the end of the Bosnian protectorate

12 Mar 2007

On 27 February, 55 government and agency diplomats met in Brussels as the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) for Bosnia and Herzegovina. They extended the international protectorate of the country to June 2008, also prolonging the powers of the High Representative/EU's Special Envoy. They chose not to renew the mandate of the current High Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, criticized by PIC members for not being aggressive enough.

Western Balkans

On Mount Olympus - How the UN violated human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and why nothing has been done to correct it

10 Feb 2007

UNMIBH ran the International Police Task Force (IPTF) in Bosnia from 1996 to 2002. Its goal was to vet Bosnian police officers and remove inappropriate personnel. The UN assessed 18,000 officers, finding 793 unfit for police duties. These individuals were permanently banned from serving as police without being given a chance to respond or knowing the reasons. Among the 793 cases, at least 150 remained unresolved, leading to instances of injustice.


Discussion Paper: The cost of non-Europe - Textile towns and the future of Serbia

18 Jan 2007

This is a story about the economic decline and social crisis of a formerly proud textile town in a country well-placed on the edge of the largest market for clothes and textiles in the world (the EU), but unable to take advantage of it. It is also a story about the costs of non-Europe in the Balkans. The town is Leskovac; the country is Serbia; and the key policy question is how it was possible that all of Serbia's neighbours were winners in the global restructuring of the textile and clothing industry (TCI), while Serbia was a looser.

EU enlargement

Discussion paper: The German Turkey debate under the grand coalition

6 Oct 2006

Before 1998, Chancellor Helmut Kohl's CDU/CSU and FDP coalition opposed Turkey's EU aspirations. In 2004, Angela Merkel continued to support a privileged partnership for Turkey. Since 2005, Merkel has led a CDU/CSU and SPD Grand Coalition. Despite expectations of a policy shift towards Turkey with the departure of the SPD/Green coalition, no changes have occurred.

EU enlargement

Discussion paper: Austria's October elections Implications for the Turkey debate

4 Oct 2006

The Austrian Social Democrats (SPÖ) won with 35.7%. Alfred Gusenbauer, the SPÖ leader, is set to be the next Chancellor. The Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), current Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel's party, lost 8.1 points, reaching 34.2%. The right-wing Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) came third, while the Green Party got 10.3%. A coalition of SPÖ and ÖVP, led by Gusenbauer, is anticipated. This government shift will impact Austria's policy towards Turkey.


Cutting the lifeline - Migration, Families and the Future of Kosovo

18 Sep 2006

Post-war Kosovo's economy, once powered by diaspora remittances, is experiencing changes as these remittances decline. This report highlights the inconsistency in EU's large investment in Kosovo's stability whilst limiting migration. It also notes that although migration and remittances provided relief for Kosovo, they haven't spurred development.