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Evidence of Convergence?

The Western Balkan Countries in Democracy and Governance Assesments

Forthcoming in: Southeast European and
Black Sea Studies 8 4/2008

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24.10.2008 · Working Paper by Martin Brusis


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The article analyses and compares how democracy and governance assessments evaluate Southeast European countries. Datasets and expert studies from the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, the Polity project and the World Bank Institute have been selected to compare numerical ratings and verbal assessments, cross-nationally within Southeast Europe, in comparison with other regions of Europe and over time. The main findings are: The differential placement of states on levels of relations between the EU and Southeast Europe correlates with the ranking of states emerging from the surveys, while there is scarce evidence of a clear causality in either direction. The successive upgrading of relations between the EU and the Southeast European countries also corresponds to convergence trends observed by two of the surveys. Differences in the relative placement of states by individual surveys can only partially be explained by the country reports attached to the surveys, suggesting further methodological improvements.




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