Performing Europe in the Western Balkans – a conversation with Dr. Vjosa Musliu


Over the last two-two and a half decades, scholars have produced a vast number and variety of works that grappled with international and especially European interventions in the Western Balkans in the spheres of state- and peace-building, post-war reconstruction, and reconciliation, EU enlargement, and Europeanization. A simple google search based on any of the terms I’ve just mentioned would trick you into wondering, what could have possibly been left unasked in this area of academic inquire?

My today’s guest on the Opinion Peace Podcast, Dr. Vjosa Musliu from the Vrije University in Brussels points out that most of this vast literature prioritizes structures, institutions, methodical processes, EU enlargement, acquis communautaire, etc., but does not delve much into broader, sociological aspects of Europeanization. That is why Vjosa’s new book “Europeanization and Statebuilding as everyday Practices – Performing Europe in the Western Balkans “ analyzes Europeanization and processes related to Europeanization through everyday, mundane acts, practices, and events that are performed across four Western Balkan countries – Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Albania. The book is forthcoming in May with Routledge Studies in Intervention and Statebuilding.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What gets revealed when we look at Europeanization through the lens of everyday performativity;
  • How EUrope is performed, staged, simulated, and even fetishized in the WB.
  • What is the purpose and who is the audience for these performative acts;
  • What and who gets “other-ed”, silenced, and even erased because they “do not fit” these imaginings of EUrope and Europeanness.
  • and many, many other things.


Dr. Vjosa Musliu is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Free University of Brussels (VUB). Her research focuses on international interventions, EU external relations and the way the EU creates and maintains its relations with its ‘others’ and how such practices also creep into the academic work. Her research interests also include poststructuralism and decoloniality. At VUB she teaches on international conflicts, International Political Economy (IPE), and European History.  Previously she has worked as a postdoc at Ghent University and a lecturer at Kent University – Brussels School of International Studies.

She is also a co-editor of the Routledge Studies on Intervention and Statebuilding Series.

Twitter: @VjosaMusliu; Email:

Podcast host: Sladjana Lazic

Text and edits: Sladjana Lazic

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