Emerging from a decade of violent ethnic and inter-state conflict during the 1990s, the countries of the Western Balkans entered a phase of rebuilding and reconciliation. Due to the key role played by the EU in the region's rebuilding efforts, "Integrating the Balkans" explores this institution's considerable efforts to influence and shape the nature of state, society and foreign relations, as it utilised the promise of membership as a vital tool to exert its influence. The picture that materialises is one of the EU's discernible, but often contradictory, impact as it offers the carrot of EU membership in the hope that the legacies of the past conflict can be re-evaluated, re-imagined and transformed. By also analysing the conditions that come with EU aid, such as co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Maire Braniff offers an extremely important perspective for all those involved in the study and practice of the processes of European integration and post-conflict resolution.
Maire Braniff is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland and also holds a research assistantship at Dublin City University, Ireland. She was awarded a PhD in Politics by Queen's University, Belfast.