Dr. Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik was a Harry & Helen Gray/AICGS Reconciliation Fellow in 2014. While at AICGS, she explored Germany’s role in reconciling the Western Balkans. The project focused on Germany’s foreign policy, economic development, aid, and German political foundations in Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo.
Germany has been a key player and one of the largest bilateral donors in the reconstruction and redevelopment of post-conflict Western Balkans. Its strategy for the region has included a number of economic aid and redevelopment packages, peacekeeping, and donations for community projects. This project explores the extent to which Germany’s involvement is aimed at reconciliation in this region. It is argued that Germany’s prioritization of economic redevelopment is a part of an implicit reconciliation strategy, aimed at stabilizing the region but without explicitly being seen to do so. The project will explore Germany’s recent historical and political links with the Western Balkans, noting the importance and symbolism of Bosnia and Kosovo for its foreign policy. The project pays particular attention to Germany’s economic and aid initiatives, and the involvement of German political foundations as some of the key donors for reconciliation projects in this region. Overall, this project explores how Germany’s reconciliation policies for the Balkans are operationalized at two levels—the macro level of foreign policy and engagement with national governments, and the micro level of civil society.
Dr. Obradovic-Wochnik is a lecturer in Politics at Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom. Her work focuses on transitional justice, reconciliation, and post-conflict transitions in Serbia and Kosovo. She has held visiting research fellowships at the European Union Institute for Security Studies, Paris; the University of Helsinki; and the Center for European Studies at Harvard University.
Can Germany Reconcile the Western Balkans?
In April 2013, Serbia and Kosovo signed an agreement that enabled a rapprochement between the two sides, including an understanding that they will not block each other’s bid for European …
Resolving relations with Kosovo is a key obstacle to Serbia joining the EU
An excerpt from the original publication with the London School of Economics: “Serbia was awarded EU candidacy status at the beginning of this year. Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik and Alexander Wochnik write that …