POSTPONED: Fostering institutionalisation? The impact of the EU accession process on state-civil society relations in Serbia
THIS SEMINAR HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
The EU has placed considerable emphasis on supporting civil society organisations (CSOs) as domestic drivers of change and to trigger new modes of governance in candidate countries. Our research examines the impact of the EU accession process on state-civil society relations in the Western Balkans and assesses their extent of institutionalisation. Comparing minority rights and environmental regulation in Serbia, we find that enlargement negotiations lead to increased dialogue and more formalized interactions between government and CSOs. However, the institutionalisation of state-CSO cooperation remains partial and is hampered by a lack of political will. We conclude that the emerging governance model is nothing like the ‘double weakness’ or agency capture found in earlier studies, but instead consists of strong hierarchy and a narrow group of highly professional CSOs engaged at the margins. Our findings feed into debates on the empowerment of domestic actors and changing governance structures in the enlargement context.
Adam Fagan is Professor of European Politics at Queen Mary University of London, where he is also Head of the School of Politics and International Relations. Fagan is a co-investigator in the EU-funded MAXCAP (Maximizing the Integration Capacity of the European Union) research project. His research focuses on the Europeanization of the Western Balkans, with particular reference to judicial reform, minority rights and environmental governance in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. His most recent book is Europeanization of the Western Balkans: Environmental Governance in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia (Palgrave 2015). Adam Fagan is also the editor of East European Politics.