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Università di Bologna  
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East, rivista internazionale di geopolitica
European Regional Master's Degree in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe
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Explaining Difficult States. The Problems of Europeanization in Serbia

Written by Jelena Subotić, this article appeared on the fourth issue of Vol. 24 of the journal East European Politics and Society in November 2010.
Why has Serbia’s path toward European integration been fraught with so much difficulty? This article explains Serbia’s reluctance to Europeanize by exploring
why Serbian elites persistently refused to fulfill the European Union’s principal requirement—full cooperation with the Hague war crimes tribunal—even when it
meant getting off the road to Brussels. The article offers a theoretical framework that incorporates domestic political identity, power of veto players, and competing elite strategies to explain how Serbian political actors used European Union norms and institutions to advance local political agendas. The article concludes that, instead of being a successful change agent that brought about policy shift in the areas of democratization and human rights, the European Union was used on many occasions by Serbian political elites to pursue strategies far removed from EU norms and standards.


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