The Balkan Route: Organized Crime in South-Eastern Europe - Root Causes, Current Developments and Future Prospects

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UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
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UNU-CRIS Working Papers
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The paper proceeds as follows: a brief analytical framework will present the two main concepts underlying this research: the Balkans and organized crime. Following a brief sketch of the current situation of organized crime in the Balkans, the analysis will then look at the roots of the phenomenon, focusing on the above-mentioned factors. To conduct this research, I employ a longitudinal study starting from the mid-1900s until today. The process-tracing involves different sources: reports from researchers, governments or international organizations, online newspapers from different countries and in different languages, blogs, European laws and international conventions acting in or relevant to South-Eastern Europe, here considered as composed of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo. After having analyzed root causes, the paper discusses the current Balkan Route, which crosses all the countries of the region, before presenting regional, European and international responses to counteract organized crime, and discussing their prospects for success.