The European Union and Member State Building in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Denti, Davide (2018) The European Union and Member State Building in Bosnia and Herzegovina. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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The EU enlargement policy aims to transform applicant countries into fully-fledged member states, committed to abiding by the EU acquis and able to take part in the EU decisionmaking and policy implementation processes. However, the contestation of the state, or contested statehood, has been identified as the key variable hindering Europeanisation in the Western Balkans. This has led the European Union (EU) to fall into cycles of mismanaged conditionality, such as in the police reform process and the constitutional reform process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Yet, the EU has learned to adapt, enacting practices of state building to cope with contested statehood. By bridging the literature on European integration, state building, and Europeanisation, this study traces the transformations of sovereignty and of the state throughout European integration, and identifies the polity ideas that underpin EU practices of ‘member state building’ in the notion of sovereignty as participation. Member state building is interested in reinforcing administrative capacities with the aim of participation in EU processes, while also enhancing the legitimacy of institutions via the export of consensus-generating mechanisms. Two case studies, exemplifying the two statehood dimensions of legitimacy and capacity, allow examining how the EU interacts with Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the framework of the Structured Dialogue on Justice and of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, the EU introduced in Bosnia and Herzegovina consensus-generating mechanisms, aimed at restoring both administrative capacities and domestic legitimacy of institutions. The role of the EU as an interested mediator and the emancipatory potential of the accession perspective set member state building apart from ‘liberal peace’ international state building. Member state building thus emerges as an enlargement-specific form of EU-led state building, allowing the EU to cope with contested statehood in its candidate countries and potential candidates and to build member states while integrating them.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:International Studies
PhD Cycle:28
Subjects:Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/04 SCIENZA POLITICA
Uncontrolled Keywords:European Union; europeanization; European integration; EU enlargement; conditionality; contested statehood; state contestation; state-building; member state building; Western Balkans; Bosnia and Herzegovina
Additional Information:I declare that this material is my own intellectual property. The contents of this dissertation are the sole responsibility of the author and cannot in any way be attributed to the European Union institutions.
Repository Staff approval on:28 Aug 2018 12:15

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