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Located in the direct neighbourhood of the EU (and the Visegrad Group), Western Balkan (WB) is a stigmatized region. A collection of nation states that have not joined the EU, the WB countries prove that a regional ‘circle’, as it appears on the map, is insufficient or even perhaps counterproductive to motivate change through common goals. Similarities might in fact be more problematic than differences. Delayed nation-building, old and new constructions of national identity, ongoing border disputes and the memory of civil war characterize the area.
There is no regional circle without mobility and the WB countries are marked by the post-war tendency to cloister themselves. Issues of collective memory do not stop at borders, as shown by comparative research on history textbooks in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and Serbia. Local NGOs devoted to improving democracy and accelerate social change in BiH also need greater regional visibility and cooperation to successfully master the challenges they face.
Jasmin Hasic, National Director of Humanity in Action Bosnia & Herzegovina, et Assistant Professor at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology
Velibor Jakovleski, Head of Research, Global Governance Centre, Graduate Institute
Jovana Mihajlović Trbovc, Research fellow, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), Institute of Culture and Memory Studies, Ljubljana
Ivan Vejvoda, Permanent Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences, IWM Vienna
Adam Balazs, Visiting Fellow, International History Department, Graduate Institute, Geneva and Fellow Researcher, Laboratoire de Changement Social et Politique (LCSP), Université de Paris (f. Paris 7 - Denis-Diderot)
This is the second part of our webinar on “Identity, Mobility and Democracy in Europe”. Read more and register for the first webinar on “The Visegrad Group: A European Region or a Region Against Europe?” HERE.