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Transformation or regulation? : understanding the European union’s approach to conflict resolution in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo

Cooley, Laurence Peter (2013)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis analyses the European Union’s approach to conflict resolution in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo. It identifies the nature of the Union’s policies in the three countries, as well as explaining these policy preferences and how they are legitimised.
In doing so, it contributes to a debate in the literature on the EU’s role in conflict resolution, between those who suggest that the Union’s influence is oriented towards the transformation of conflict parties’ identities, and those who argue instead that its policies have encouraged the recognition and accommodation of existing identities. The thesis employs a constructivist
institutionalist framework with which to understand EU actors’ policy preferences. Applying this through discourse analysis of policy documents and official speeches as well as interviews with key policy-makers, I offer support to the view that the EU’s approach is one of conflict regulation rather than transformation. This approach is underpinned by a paradigm that sees conflicts as driven by a fundamental incompatibility between the interests and identities of different ethnic groups. Such an approach has been legitimised not by reference to norms with a basis in EU law, but rather to practice in specific member states and to the nature of the Union itself, which EU actors view as having brought peace and stability to Europe through the accommodation of national identities.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Pace, Michelle and Haughton, Timothy and Diez, Thomas
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Department of Political Science and International Studies
Subjects:H Social Sciences (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4627
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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