Europeanisation and Democratic Regression in Southeast Europe: Reflections on a Research Agenda

In the wake of the integration of ten Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries into the European Union (EU), EU enlargement was hailed as the most successful tool for external democracy promotion (Dimitrova and Pridham 2004; Schimmelfennig and Scholtz 2008; Vachudova 2005). As long as the expected reward was sufficiently attractive, the domestic political costs for adaptation low, and the membership promise credible, it was expected that the perspective of enlargement coupled with EU conditionality would readily result in democratic change.

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