First meeting of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group in 2022 was held on January 18th as a zoom conference among its members coming both from Western Balkans and EU.
The group discussed the the current state of play in the region and the European Union, as well as the calendar of activities and the topics of the planned publications for the upcoming period.,
This BiEPAG Meeting was also an opportunity to officially welcome the two new members of the BiEPAG that will enrich the expertise of the group as a whole.
Damir Kapidžić is an Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He studied political science and international relations at Free University Berlin, Humboldt University Berlin, University of Potsdam, and received his PhD from the University of Sarajevo. His research looks at ethnic conflict, political parties and power-sharing, as well as the process through which democratic or authoritarian politics are institutionalized. Currently he is advising several deliberative mini-public processes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is the principal investigator of Horizon 2020 Contexts of Extremism in MENA and Balkan Societies at the University of Sarajevo. He is editor of the book Illiberal Politics in Southeast Europe: How Ruling Elites Undermine Democracy (Routledge, 2022).
Bojan Baća (PhD, York University) is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg. He was previously a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Weber Institute of Sociology, Heidelberg University (2020–2021), the Institute of Sociological Studies, Charles University (2019–2020), and the Center for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz (2018–2019); as well as a research fellow at the Art, Science and Business Program, Akademie Schloss Solitude (2020–2021), the Institute for Advanced Study, New Europe College (2019–2020), and the Center for Advanced Studies, University of Rijeka (2019). He also has 10 years of experience working in the non-governmental sector and currently serves as an academic representative to the Council of the Montenegrin Public Broadcaster.
His research on civil society, social movements, and contentious politics has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed outlets including Antipode, International Political Sociology, Europe-Asia Studies, among several others. His current research examines the relationship between grassroots and elite expressions of right-wing populism during turbulent times and, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the intersection of populism, pseudoscientism, and conspiracism in the digital public sphere.