- The European Union as a state-builder: policies towards Sri Lanka and Serbia
- Südosteuropa: Monatsschrift der Abteilung Gegenwartsforschung des Südost-Instituts
- Volume | Issue number
- 56 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article analyses the European Union's state-building policies with reference to two "ailing" states: Serbia and Sri Lanka. After an introduction on the evolution of the European Union's foreign policy, we discuss commonalities between the Serbian and Sri Lankan polity: their boundaries are contested; the governmental machineries are ineffective and corrupt, and state capacity wanting; there is a lack of social cohesion that goes beyond ethnic divisions; but the agency of citizens is expressed in local civil society initiatives. While the EU's policies towards these states appear at first glance to have been very different, we find significant similarities in terms of the crude use of conditionalities, a neglect of the global and regional context, failure to apply state-strenghtening and civil society-strengthening initiatives simultaneously, flawed human rights policies, and above all the continued separation and indeed competititon between security and development policies. Instead, we propose a more holistic approach to state-building by the European Union informed by human security principles.
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