With more than 25 years since the collapse of communism, the end of the wars and billions of dollars in aid, the Balkans are still characterized by corruption, state capture, and decidedly unmodern states that are often either weak or authoritarian. Taking the contemporary Balkans as a starting point, Making and Remaking the Balkans studies the region’s history combined with observations based on more than twenty years of field experience.
Primarily concerned with current issues in the Balkans since 1989, this book explains why the region has endured such a prolonged and fraught transition to democracy and eventual membership in the European Union. The young and educated have largely left. Governmental crisis and economic stagnation is the norm and much-needed regional cooperation has been suppressed by renewed nationalism. Wars on corruption have proved to be largely rhetorical. Making and Remaking the Balkans offers a systematic study of the issues the entire region faces as it struggles to complete the European integration process at a time when the European Union faces bigger problems elsewhere.
About the author
Robert C. Austin is a senior lecturer in the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.
“This book’s strengths lie in its easy-to-read prose and frankness about the problems faced by the region, be it borders, ethnicity or the widescale corruption continuing to hold it back. Austin’s many unique and eyewitness accounts also add value to this text. Making and Remaking the Balkans is useful and insightful for anyone new to or interested in the region, particularly undergraduates of business and public policy.”
<em>Eurasian Geography and Economics</em>