This special issue, guest edited by Rosa Balfour, Corina Stratulat, James Ker-Lindsay and Ioannis Armakolas, considers “The National Politics of EU Enlargement in the Western Balkans”. Following a conceptualizing introductory article by Ker-Lindsay, Armakolas, Balfour and Stratulat, each subsequent article of the issue considers one EU member country’s perspective on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, highlighting the effects of domestic political concerns and national politics on state-level attitudes. The issue includes the following case study articles: Germany (by Theresia Töglhofer and Cornelius Adebahr), France (by Natasha Wunsch), the United Kingdom (by James Ker-Lindsay), Italy (by Andrea Frontini and Davide Denti), Hungary (by Beata Huszka), Greece (by Ioannis Armakolas and Giorgos Triantafyllou) and Cyprus (by Isabelle Ioannides). As the abstract of the introductory article of the issue points out, each country study “shows that there are in fact a wide variety of factors that shape individual member state attitudes towards enlargement… include[ing] economic and commercial goals, ties to the region and to individual accession states, concerns over immigration, general foreign policy priorities and national ideological approaches towards the future shape and orientation of the European Union”. The issue therefore provides a rare contribution to the discussion on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans.
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