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CLOSING THE GAP BETWEEN FORMAL AND INFORMAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE BALKANS

Objective

"Southeast Europe has seen a century of continuous transformation and “transition” – the disappearance and emergence of states, political and legal systems, ideologies, institutions, and social classes. This has been accompanied by a stability of social practices resistant to change. Shaken by radically changing ideological and legal structures, citizens rely on customary and informal social networks of kin, symbolic kin, and friends for meeting economic needs, and on clan- or kin-related structures rather than the rule of law for security and protection. We trace the persistence of informal practices to: 1) the external origin of major transformations, including the “transitions” to and from socialism; 2) the incomplete character of change, which has tended to be replaced by equally radical but diametrically opposed projects; 3) the development of a buffer culture based on informal practices, directed to enabling people to survive under unstable conditions; and 4) the widening gap between formal institutions and informal social practices.
The distance between proclaimed goals and existing practices represents the key challenge to the European integration of Balkan societies. The integration process could end with superficial change, behind which the ""real"" social life of corruption, clientelism, tension, inequality, and exclusion will continue to unfold. We propose to explicate the key formal and informal “rules of the game”, and to identify and decipher the ""unwritten rules"" which underpin tactical maneuvering between formal and informal institutions, in various spheres and at various levels of social life. These would then be compared to the demands and recommendations laid out in the key EU documents outlining expectations from Southeast European states. The goal is to contribute to the formulation of policy recommendations which would aim not to eradicate informal practices, but to close the gap between formal and informal institutions in Balkan societies."
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Coordinator

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

Address

Gower Street
Wc1e 6bt London

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 623 306,50

Participants (8)

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INSTITUT ZA ETNOLOGIJU I FOLKLORISTIKU

Croatia

EU Contribution

€ 225 775

UNIVERZA V MARIBORU

Slovenia

EU Contribution

€ 244 325

CENTAR ZA INTRADISCIPLINARNA PRIMIJENJENA DRUSTVENA ISTRAZIVANJA

Bosnia and Herzegovina

EU Contribution

€ 250 800

CENTER FOR EMPIRICAL CULTURAL STUDIES OF SOUTH EAST EUROPE

Serbia

EU Contribution

€ 254 425

INSTITUT ZA DEMOKRATIJA SOCIETAS CIVILIS SKOPJE

North Macedonia

EU Contribution

€ 243 925

QENDRA E KERKIMEVE HISTORIKE DHE ANTROPOLOGJIKE

Albania

EU Contribution

€ 161 075

SOCIAL RESEARCH KOSOVA LLC

Kosovo

EU Contribution

€ 176 075

RIGAS STRADINA UNIVERSITATE

Latvia

EU Contribution

€ 306 625

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 693537

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 April 2016

  • End date

    31 March 2019

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.6.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 486 331,50

  • EU contribution

    € 2 486 331,50

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom