What is ‘malign’ about external influence in the Western Balkans? Unpacking the role of non-Western powers

Event date
March 15, 2021
Short description

We would like to cordially invite you to two online debates covering the influence of foreign actors in the Western Balkans. The events will present and discuss the findings of the studies written within the framework of the 18-month long project “Western Balkans at the Crossroads: Ways Forward in Analyzing External Actors' Influence” led by the Prague Security Studies Institute.

The project incorporates fifteen in-depth studies that go beyond existing research on the issue and thus contribute to a better understanding of various aspects and mechanisms of foreign presences in the Western Balkans, particularly Russian, Chinese and Turkish.

The debates aim to elaborate on the project’s most important findings and will focus on two cross-cutting issues, identified as crucial for the debate on external actors' presence in the region:
Debate 2: What is ‘malign’ about external influence in the Western Balkans? Unpacking the role of non-Western powers

Date: March 15, 2021
Time: 18:00 – 19:15 CET

Please register HERE and follow a Facebook event for more details.

Russian, Chinese and Turkish activities in the Western Balkans have recently become predominantly labelled as ‘malign’ in Western expert and policymaking circles. Yet viewing the non-Western actors’ presence as inherently harmful and malign simplifies a complex reality and does not bring the understanding necessary for increasing the resilience of Western Balkan societies to real risks involved and for the drafting of EU or US responses. The debate thus aims to unpack the issue of the harmfulness of Russian, Chinese and Turkish activities, asking the following questions: To which extent, where and how does their presence cause negative impacts? What specifically makes it malign - does it rest in these actors’ strategy and intentions or rather in their conduct and interaction with local ruling elites? Does their approach differ from that of Western countries, and in what ways? To what extent is foreign non-Western influence harmful to the countries’ long-term goal of joining the EU?

Moderator: Ioannis Armakolas, Head of the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics of South East Europe at the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia

  • Anastas Vangeli, ESSCA School of Management
  • Srećko Latal, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network
  • Gentiola Madhi, Researcher and Political Analyst

To join the debate, please register HERE. The online event will take place on Zoom webinar, more details will be shared with you upon registration.

Website: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_N3-NRoYrT-W9X2kwiKkybA

Geographical focus
  • European Union (EU 28)
  • WBC
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on February 28, 2021
Modified on February 28, 2021