1st Online Debate: Pleading for European integration, but welcoming non-European influence?


9 Mar 2021, 17:00 CET


1st Online Debate of the "Western Balkans at Crossroads" project titled "Pleading for European integration, but welcoming non-European influence? Domestic demand for non-European external influence in the Western Balkans" will address the following questions:

Analyses and reports on external influences in the Western Balkans typically investigate activities by Russian, Chinese or Turkish state actors, companies, official representatives or other stakeholders, while little attention has been put on the domestic responses to these actors’ presences. The studies, written within the framework of this project, however, attest to the need for refocusing attention on the local dimension of external influences, as the ‘demand side’ on the part of the ruling elites and other stakeholders crucially shapes the field of action and also visibility of foreign engagements. The debate will explore the following questions: How do local political actors perceive the presence and activity of external actors? How do they use it for their own purposes and internal power struggles? What narratives and framing strategies do they apply to capitalize on foreign actors’ presences? Which methods can be used to analyze the domestic aspects of foreign influence?

Moderator: Senada Šelo Šabić, Senior Research Associate at Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)


  • Tena Prelec, Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR), University of Oxford, and a Research Associate at LSEE-Research on South Eastern Europe, LSE

  • Martin Naunov, PhD student in Political Science at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

  • Ognjan Denkovski, Junior Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, Department of Communication Science and a Research Associate at the Global Disinformation Index

  • Stefan Jojić, PhD candidate at the Faculty of Political Studies, University of Belgrade

  • Stefan Vladisavljev, Program Coordinator at the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence


To register, please, follow this link.

You can download the debates' program here.