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Serbia and NATO: From enemies to (almost) partners

21 pages, pdf
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Serbia and NATO: From enemies to (almost) partners

Publisher: Belgrade Centre for Security Policy

Volume: 21 pages, pdf


This paper explores the ambivalence of current Serbia – NATO relations. The relationship features alongside Serbia’s ‘exceptionality’ in comparison to the relations of the other Western Balkan countries with the Alliance. In spite of this ‘exceptionality’ Serbia’s security policies have being brought in line with the prevailing security discourse and concept of NATO. The main event that has shaped Serbia – NATO relations is the 1999 bombing campaign of which its consequences and impact on current Serbia – NATO relations are described and analysed here. The central argument is that despite the experience of NATO’s hard power in 1999, Serbia’s security policies have been socialised through the post-1999 engagement with the Alliance as well as the perceived convergence of NATO’s and the European Union’s security policies. This case study contributes to the literature on socialisation by analysing an exceptional case of socialisation which took place without Serbia either being a member of the EU or NATO, or any sort of declared ambition to join the Alliance. It stands in contrast to the already explored examples of socialisation of the Central and East European, Baltic and Balkans states whose security policies have been socialised due to these countries’ open and undisputed ambitions to join both the EU and NATO and their following admittance into both of these organizations.