European Union statebuilding: securing the liberal peace through EU enlargement

Chandler, David C. (2007) European Union statebuilding: securing the liberal peace through EU enlargement. Global Society, 21 (4). pp. 593-607. ISSN 1360-0826

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This paper suggests that the liberal peace, secured by state capacity building in the process of EU enlargement to the Balkans, hides a dual process taking place within the political establishment of the European Union. On the one hand, the European Union seeks to project its power into what is perceived to be a vacuum in the region, on the other hand, it seeks to avoid the direct political responsibilities associated with empire. This exercise of power and avoidance of responsibility is driven by the European Union's own lack of confidence in its expansion to the east, particularly with regard to its ability to legitimate this project to the citizens of EU member states. However, the consequences of the policies which seek to deny the power exercised by the European Union are destabilising ones for the Balkan states, where the relations of power are separated from relations of accountability. This tends to create weakened states which have international legal sovereignty but lack genuine mechanisms for politically integrating society. The pre-existing fragility of state-society relations in this region means that these relations of domination risk exposing the weakness and external dependency of political elites and the discrediting of the European project.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2009 10:55
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2009 10:55

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