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Palgrave Macmillan

Party Responses to the EU in the Western Balkans

Transformation, Opposition or Defiance?

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Contributes to our knowledge on how contemporary political parties in Europe form and alter their attitudes towards the EU
  • Provides an in-depth qualitative comparative study of Serbian and Croatian party politics and their parties’ positions on the EU
  • Advances the theoretical scholarly debate on the factors that shape contemporary party responses to Europe

Part of the book series: Global Political Transitions (GLPOTR)

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About this book

This book examines how European issues have played out in Serbian and Croatian party politics since 2000, in the context of significant challenges brought by European integration of the Western Balkans. It provides a comprehensive analysis of how political parties in these countries have determined and shifted their positions on the EU, by exploring the effect and interaction of party ideology and strategy, position within the party system, relations with the general public and voters as well as transnational party linkages. The author argues that the particular nature of European issues, closely related to crucial identity and statehood dilemmas in these post-conflict societies, largely determined party stances on the EU, feeding significant Eurosceptic sentiments. At the same time, a number of core parties underwent a rapid pro-EU conversion, pragmatically responding to internal and external incentives in the context of dynamic electoral competition and strong EU presence, and aimed at maximising their chances of securing executive office. The book will be of interest to advanced students and scholars in the fields of comparative politics, Western Balkan politics, and EU studies.

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Table of contents (7 chapters)


“Stojić’s book stands out because of the care and diligence with which the study has been conducted. … This is best illustrated by the dense and valuable tables found throughout the book. As straightforward as they look, they are in fact very rich and do an excellent job combining Stojić’s own findings with existing data from a broad variety of sources.” (Niké Wentholt, Südosteuropa, Iss (2), 2018) “This is an innovative and ground breaking book that I strongly recommend to all scholars interested in how the European issue plays out in national party politics. As well as providing invaluable empirical data on under-researched Western Balkan cases, Marko Stojić makes a strong theoretical contribution to, and greatly enhances our knowledge of, how and why political parties develop their stances on European integration.” (Professor Aleks Szczerbiak, University of Sussex, UK)

“In this empirically rich study, Marko Stojić compares how Serbian and Croatian political parties cope with the challenges of European integration. Based on extraordinary conceptual clarity and excellent original research, the book helps us understand the transformative power of the EU on political parties. The book is a ‘must-read’ for scholars interested in the Western Balkans and EU impact on political parties.” (Professor Vít Hloušek, Masaryk University, Czech Republic)

“This is a timely book on party attitudes towards European integration in the Western Balkans that offers insights well beyond the case studies and examines how contemporary parties face the impact of the EU. The rich empirical analysis provides an original and unique view of the specific nature of EU issues in these countries. It is a fundamental reading for scholars interested in party responses to the EU.” (Dr Simona Guerra, University of Leicester, UK)

“This book is an important contribution to scholarship on party politics. It provides a critical and timely examination of how political parties conceptualise the European Union. By examining the cases of Croatia and Serbia, the book shows how political parties, in times of transition or flux, manage to use, popularise or undermine the EU (or the idea of the EU), in order to further their political goals.” (Dr Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, Aston University, UK)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of International Relations and European Studies, Metropolitan University Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

    Marko Stojić

About the author

Marko Stojić is Lecturer in the Department of International Relations and European Studies at Metropolitan University in Prague, Czech Republic. He holds a PhD in Contemporary European Studies from the University of Sussex. His research interests focus on the study of European integration, political parties in the Western Balkans and party-based Euroscepticism. He has published in Czech Journal of Political Science and Perspectives on European Politics and Society.

Bibliographic Information

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