The Balkans and Iraq have become emblematic features of the post-cold war geography of international relations. However, by concentrating on the current ruptures in the Euro-Atlantic community, most commentators: (i) neglect the macro-historical tendency of the US towards unilateralism in response to ‘existential threats’ and to multilateral approaches whenever and wherever the sense of urgency is not pressing; and (ii) overlook the fact that the Iraq crisis is an aberration in an otherwise persisting transatlantic relationship of co-operation. It can be argued that an exploration of the externally-driven processes of order-promotion in the region indicates that the Iraq crisis did not impact dramatically on the role of either the EU or NATO. This is because the Balkans remains an area of co-operation between the transatlantic partners as a result of their reaction to the Kosovo crisis. Secondly, the current regional perspective suggests that the transatlantic rows offered Balkan states the opportunity to pursue particular agendas. Finally, it can be suggested that, unlike Iraq, the Balkans region is not in fact prone to a relapse into socalled ‘Balkanisation’.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (all)