Arolda Elbasani

Arolda Elbasani

Arolda Elbasani is currently a Jean Monnet Fellow at Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies (RSCAS), Florence. She received her PhD from European University Institute in 2007. Afterwards, she was involved in research and teaching at different institutions namely Columbia University, New York; Social Science Research Centre, Berlin; European University of Tirana; and Free University, Berlin. Her research interests and publications lay at the intersection of European Integration, comparative democratization and political Islam especially focusing on Southeast Europe and Turkey.

EU’s ‘new approach’, democratization and the problem of stateness in the WB

The current “business as usual” policy of enlargement, or the first scenario of the Balkans in Europe Policy paper, deals with the advantages, and pitfalls, of the EU’s capacities to foster stalling democratization in the Western Balkans.  Any analysis of the potential for enlargement policy turning around the weak record of democratization in the Balkans has to take into account the innovations of the ‘new approach,’  when compared to the previous...

EU Conditionality Curve and State Capacities in the Balkans

What do the Western Balkan countries have in common two decades after the violent ethnic conflicts that characterised the dissolution of Yugoslavia, and more than a decade into the use of enlargement conditionality? Why do they still lag behind and show resistance to substantial sectors of the Copenhagen criteria?

Most academics and practitioners working on bloody ethnic conflicts of the 1990s, ongoing ethnic-religious cleavages, and stabilization concerns, might still be tempted to identify regional stabilization and ethno-national divisions as the main problem. Indeed,...

EU scrutiny and rule of law priorities in Albania

On December 2013, the Council of the European Union decided to decline Commission’s recommendation to grant Albania candidate country status. The decision is left pending on country’s “continued implementation of anti-corruption and judicial reform strategies”, which will be re-assessed in June 2014. In a way, Council’s decision is nothing new. Since its application for membership in April 2009, Albania has collected a rather unique three-year saga of refusals from the EU --an...