Europe beyond the EU

Europe has an impact beyond its borders, not only through its ‘normative power’ and formative conditionality but also through its policies (e.g., on energy, trade, climate change) and economic weight (including in relation to the Eurozone crisis). In the EU ‘neighbourhood’ in particular, this impact has been expanding geographically (e.g., through the European Neighbourhood Policy) as well as in breadth and width (see for example initiatives such as the ‘Black Sea Synergy’ or cases of policy downloading such as the SEE2020 Strategy adopted in the Western Balkans in 2013). 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), the activities of the Chair in Contemporary Turkish Studies and the recent appointment of Prof Dani Rodrik as LSE Centennial Professor at the European Institute, 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.

Examples of 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

Europe beyond the EU - Highlights



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

William Bartlett, Pavlos Kollias, Jasmina Ahmetbasic and Dragisa Mijacic

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. 

Recent Selected 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     

Bryant, Rebecca (2014) "Living with Liminality: De Facto States on the Threshold of the Global". Brown Journal of World Affairs 20(2): Spring/Summer 2014

Bryant, Rebecca (2014) "History's remainders: belonging, temporality and unfinished pasts". American Ethnologist

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

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

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 

Ozyurek, Esra (2014) Being German, Becoming Muslim: Race, Religion, and Conversion. Princeton University Press.

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


Quick Links

Staff in the European Institute working in this area include:

Doctoral students

  • Sonja Avlijas
  • Jonathan Charlton
  • Madalina Dobrescu
  • Roch Dunin-Wasowicz
  • Jonathan Marley
  • Bjarke Morkore Stigel Hansen
  • Maria Werdine-Norris
  • Paula Zoido Oses