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Europe beyond the EU

Our research themes

Europe has an impact beyond its borders, not only through its ‘normative power’ and formative conditionality but also through its policies and economic weight. 



In the EU ‘neighbourhood’ in particular, this impact has been expanding geographically as well as in breadth and width. A large part of research conducted within the ‘Europe beyond the EU’ cluster focuses on this external influence and its implications.

Drawing on the established expertise of our Departmental Research Unit on Southeast Europe (LSEE) and the activities of the Chair in Contemporary Turkish Studies, special emphasis is placed on Turkey and the Balkans and their problems of economic adjustment and growth, policy-downloading and EU perspective, state-building and minority rights, etc. But our work on these questions also looks inwards (e.g.how the EU institutionalises processes of regional cooperation in its periphery – ‘exporting regionalism’) and extends geographically to the eastern and south Mediterranean ‘neighbourhood’ (ENP, EMP, UfM).

Recent developments in this region in particular (e.g., Libya, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, Turkey) have at the same time shown the limits of EU’s ‘soft’ power and questioned its positive influence – despite the strengthening of institutional structures for this, e.g., through the creation of a ‘foreign minister’ in the Lisbon Treaty. Additionally, issues emerging in the wider European ‘periphery’ (e.g., concerning statehood and secessionism, Islam and democracy, minority rights) are also posing important policy and moral challenges in the European continent. Our work in this cluster covers also research questions related to these issues, including the place of Islam in Europe, the nature and limits of the western normative project, European identity and nationalism, migration and minority rights, the legitimacy of external democratisation, and others.


The political economy of donor intervention in Western Balkans and Turkey: mapping and potential for stronger synergies

by William Bartlett, Pavlos Kollias, Jasmina Ahmetbasic and Dragisa Mijacic

The political economy of donor intrevention

Although donor coordination in the Western Balkan region (and in Turkey) is a stated priority of most donors, implementation is not always effective. Sector Working Groups often practice information sharing rather than genuine cooperation to improve strategic plans, division of labour, complementarity of efforts, or joint programming. Genuine cooperation within a sector approach is a complex process that should be approached cautiously, with due attention to ensuring effective donor coordination and monitoring of results. In a situation in which multiple donors each pursue different objectives and offer a variety of uncoordinated policy advice there is ample opportunity for beneficiaries to play donors off against each other. In one sense this is a negative aspect of donor fragmentation that raises transactional costs; in another sense it can be seen as healthy competition that favours the consumer of donor services.


Key Research Themes

  • Minorities and identity
  • Multiculturalism, Islam and Islamophobia
  • State-building and inter-state politics
  • The economics of the EU periphery
  • Neighbourhood policy and its impact in the partnership countries
  • Turkey and the EU
  • Regional cooperation and European integration in Southeast Europe

Selected recent publications

Bartlett, William. (2014) "The political economy of accession: forming economically viable member states" in S. Kiel and Z. Arkan (eds) EU  Member State Building in the Western Balkans. London: Routledge

Bartlett W., Uvalic M., Durazzi N., Monastiriotis V. and Sene T. (2016), From University to Employment: Higher Education Provision and Labour Market Needs In the Western Balkans, Synthesis Report, European Commission (DG EAC)   

Economides, Spyros and Ker-Lindsay, James (2015) "Pre-accession Europeanization: the case of Serbia and Kosovo". Journal of Common Market Studies 53. 1-33 

Glendinning, Simon (2014) "Settled-there: Heidegger on the work of art as the cultivation of place". Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology, 1 (1). 7-32

Jordaan J. and Monastiriotis V. (2017), Location, Localisation, Agglomeration: an examination of the geographical dimension of FDI spillovers, in Bernhard I. (ed), Geography, Open Innovation, Diversity and Entrepreneurship, Uddevalla Symposium 2016, University West, Sweden.

Jordaan J. and Monastiriotis V. (2016), The domestic productivity effects of FDI in Greece: loca(lisa)tion matters!, GreeSE Paper No105, Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe, LSE.

Ker-Lindsay, James (2014) "Understanding state responses to secession" Peacebuilding, 2 (1). 28-44

Ker-Lindsay, James (2015) "Engagement without recognition: the limits of diplomatic interaction with contested states" International Affairs, 91 (2). 1-16

Kallioras D., Monastitiotis V. and Petrakos G. (2016), Spatial dynamics and agglomeration forces in the EU periphery, Annals of Regional Science (DOI: 10.1007/s00168-016-0798-x)

Monastiriotis, Vassilis (2014) "Regional growth and national development: transition in Central and Eastern Europe and the regional Kuznets curve in the East and the West" Spatial Economic Analysis, 9 (2). 142-161

Monastitiotis V., Kallioras D. and Petrakos G. (2016), The regional impact of European Union association agreements: an event-analysis approach to the case of CEE, Regional Studies (DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2016.1198472)

Monastiriotis V. and Tunali C. B. (2016), The Sustainability of External Imbalances in the European Periphery, LEQS Paper No106, European Institute, LSE.

Monastitiotis V. (2016), Foreign-firm ownership, institutional proximity and the geography of intra-industry spillovers in the EU neighbourhood: do European firms raise domestic productivity by more?, Environment and Planning C, vol.34 (4), pp.676-697.

Ozyurek, Esra (2013) "Turkish Converts to Islam and German Converts to Christianity Challenge National Identities" in Religion, Identity and Politics: German and Turkey in Interaction. Edited by Haldun Gulalp and Gunther Seufert. Routledge 

Academic staff working in this area 

  • William Bartlett, LSEE Visiting Senior Fellow 
  • Robert Basedow
  • Spyros Economides, Associate Professor of International Relations and European Politics
  • Jennifer Jackson-Preece, Associate Professor of Nationalism
  • James Ker-Lindsay, LSEE Visiting Senior Fellow
  • Vassilis Monastiriotis, Associate Professor of Political Economy
  • Esra Özyürek, Associate Professor of Contemporary Turkish Studies