Democracy is increasingly under challenge on a global scale, with a crisis of democracy the prevailing narrative. The assumption of a linear and normative transition, which prevailed during the third wave of democratisation, has proven to be overly optimistic and misleading. Even though the countries of the Western Balkans embarked belatedly on the path towards democracy, the expectation of a straightforward transition from authoritarianism to liberal democracy still applied to them. Their recognition as candidates for EU membership at the 2000 Zagreb Summit made it likely that they would follow the path of “democracy through integration,” which initially had proven to be successful formula for the transformation in Central and Eastern Europe.1 By providing specific incentives for domestic change, the EU would export democratic standards through its enlargement policy.
Policy Study: The Crisis of Democracy in the Western Balkans. An Anatomy of Stabilitocracy and the Limits of EU Democracy Promotion
1 March, 2017