Public Lecture: The Future of EU Enlargement in the Western Balkans

Date: 15 Aug 2018


The European Union is often viewed from outside as a cohesive international institution, but it has been constantly undergoing profound changes. One of the most consequential is the process of EU Enlargement. While no new enlargement is imminent today, the countries of the Western Balkans are high on the priority of the enlargement agenda.

The Western Balkans comprises a set of seven countries of which only Croatia is member of the EU (since 2013). The other countries, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and partially recognized Kosovo, have a received a commitment of future EU membership. Most are accession candidates and some have opened membership negotiations.

In this lecture I will present the current state of the enlargement agenda and look beyond the technocratic process of aligning domestic legislation with EU law (implementing the acquis communautaire). Much of the enlargement process is dictated by intergovernmental institutional interrelationships, (foreign) policy preferences of members and candidate states, as well as public perceptions and popular support. By looking into this process while focusing on the complex case of Bosnia and Herzegovina we are able to shed new light onto the intricate relation between domestic and foreign policy.


Damir Kapidžić is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He studied political science and international relations in Berlin, Potsdam and Sarajevo, and received his PhD from the University of Sarajevo.

His research looks at ethnic conflict, political parties and power-sharing. He is particularly interested in formal and informal processes and institutional arrangements through which democratic or authoritarian politics are legitimized. Much of his research looks at countries in Southeast Europe, a.k.a. the Balkans, but also includes comparative perspectives from East Africa and Southeast Asia, applying qualitative and mixed methods approaches.

He teaches and writes in Croatian/Bosnian/Serbian, English, and German. More information and a full CV are available at:

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Public Lecture: The Future of EU Enlargement in the Western Balkans


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