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Does NATO Enlargement Spread Democracy? The Democratic Stabilization of Western Balkan Countries.

Author(s): Zdeněk Kříž | Markéta Stixová

Journal: Středoevropské Politické Studie
ISSN 1213-2691

Volume: 14;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: NATO enlargement | democratization | Western Balkans

This article deals with NATO enlargement toward Western Balkan countries and tries to answer the question of whether NATO enlargement has contributed to the democratic stabilization of the Western Balkans. The authors conclude that NATO has truly contributed to the democratic stabilization of candidate countries. Nevertheless, we have no evidence supporting the thesis that the democratic stabilization of Albania, Croatia, or Macedonia is progressing solely due to the NATO enlargement policy; it is not clear that NATO is viewed as one of the Western institutions into which these countries want to join. On the one hand, this study shows that NATO enlargement may not have as significant an impact on democratization as has been hoped for by its proponents, who started this process in the mid-90s. On the other hand, the impact of NATO on the consolidation of democratic regimes in candidate countries is by no means zero or even marginal.
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