Plan B – B for Balkans: State Building and Democratic Institutions in Southeastern Europe

The analysis of the current situation and the recommendations draw upon the
outcomes of a sweeping comparison between post-imperial state building in
Southeastern Europe in the interwar period and post-communist statebuilding at the turn of the twenty-first century. The Captive States project team, sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation, analyses the establishment of formal and
informal political institutions in the newly independent states of Southeastern
Europe in the interwar period. The multi-country comparison of institutions,
ranging from the judiciary and the monarchy to political movements and taxation,
tends to qualify generic judgements on the Balkans, its institutional choices
and its capabilities for reform and development. The comparison also draws
attention to external constraints, time frames and institutional role models. By
analogy, a more differentiated analysis of serious deficits and positive trends
in the region today calls for adequate responses by the EU, beyond the current
repertoire and the ongoing process of enlargement.