ROUNDTABLE. Is Russia a Threat to the Western Balkans?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join us for a roundtable discussion with Dimitar Bechev (UNC-Chapel Hill), Tanya Domi (Columbia SIPA/Harriman Institute), Jasmin Mujanović (Fellow, EastWest Institute), and Srdjan Vucetic (University of Ottawa).

Is Russia threatening to disrupt more than two decades’ of EU and U.S. efforts to promote stability in post-communist Southeast Europe? Politicians and commentators in the West say, “yes.” With rising global anxiety over Russia’s political policies and objectives, the roundtable's participants will explore more deeply the ascendancy of Russia in the Western Balkans, the geopolitical rivalry that is now engaged with the European Union, the United States, Turkey, new players from the Gulf States, and China. Dimitar Bechev's new book Rival Power: Russia in SouthEast Europe, will be available for purchase.



Dimitar Bechev is the director of the European Policy Institute, a think-tank based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Previously, he held research fellowships at Harvard University, University of Oxford and the London School of Economics, and headed the Sofia office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Dr. Bechev has written extensively on EU’s external relations, the politics and modern history of Turkey and the Balkans, and Russia’s foreign policy. His book Rival Power, forthcoming with Yale University Press in 2017, explores Russia’s role in Southeast Europe (Balkans, Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey). He is a regular contributor to Al Jazeera, the American Interest, Politico, Foreign Policy, and openDemocracy. Dr. Bechev’s research project at UNC-Chapel Hill's Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies examines the foreign policy of hybrid regimes, looking at the cases of Russia and Turkey. It inquires into the impact of domestic politics and institutions on external relations.



Tanya Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a faculty affiliate of the Harriman Institute where she teaches human rights and international affairs in the Western Balkans. Prior to joining the faculty in 2008, Domi worked for the late Congressman Frank McCloskey, serving as his defense policy analyst in the early 1990s during the run-up to the Bosnian war. Domi served in the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina 1996-2000 as Spokesperson, Counselor to the Head of Mission and Chair of the OSCE Media Experts Commission. Domi has worked in a dozen countries, including Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia in the Balkans, regarding democratic, economic, media and political transitional development, as well as human rights and gender/sexual identity issues. Domi is a widely published author and is currently writing a book on the LGBTI human rights movement in the Western Balkans.  



Jasmin Mujanović is a political scientist specialising in the politics of southeastern Europe and the politics of post-authoritarian and post-conflict democratisation. His first book, Hunger and Fury: The Crisis of Democracy in the Balkans, will be available from Hurst Publishers in the UK and EU in December 2017 and Oxford University Press in North America in March 2018. 



Srdjan Vucetic (also spelled Srđan Vučetić) is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa. He is the Co-Coordinator of the International Theory Network (ITN) at the Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS-CEPI). His research interests involve international politics, including Canadian foreign and defence policy. 


Image of the Kremlin by Alexandergusev -