Balkanalysis.com

Balkanalysis on Twitter

2018 Marks 15 Years of Balkanalysis- So Here Are 15 Classic Publications

January 11, 2018

While it’s still hard to believe, 2018 marks the 15th year of this website’s operations. What began out of a desire to simply read news more interesting than what was being then published has, against all odds, remained an independent and self-sustaining source of information on the wider Balkan region. Now as then, the website is consulted regularly by governmental, academic, private business and other persons with a professional interest in the region. And also by curious readers of all kinds, from many different countries.

Over the past 15 years, much has changed in the region (while much has remained the same, of course), and many media bodies have come and gone. Some survivors have drifted from their original purpose, while others remain firmly locked on target. And the underlying technology and user preferences have obviously changed too worldwide. While the website has admittedly remained a bit old-fashioned in the latter aspect, we’re proud of continuing to produce valuable reports, interviews and e-books, while sparking the occasional international incident.

What lies in store for the website in the future? There are some good upcoming reports and caches to come, but nothing lasts forever, so enjoy it while you can Fortunately, this year we will re-open calls for new contributors, so if that matches your talents and interest, please read the relevant page here before reaching out.

To mark the 15th year of BA operations, we’ve selected links to 15 classic articles that have particularly stood out. Considering that our open archive contains about 1,000 articles (plus several hundred more available only to subscribers on CEEOL.com), 15 is quite a small number, but hopefully readers will enjoy them. They are listed in no particular order. Please enjoy the brief descriptions and click on these articles to read in full. And, to help us move towards the 21st century, don’t forget to share this page with your social channels. Thanks!

-And Now… The Commemorative 15-

1

Title: Freemasonry in Greece: Secret History Revealed

Author: Ioannis Michaletos

Publication Date: September 28, 2006

Reason for Inclusion: The world indeed remains transfixed by all things Masonic, as the statistics have consistently showed over time regarding this 2006 piece. While being a concise and largely historical account that does not uncover any great scandals of the modern-day ruling elite, the article does a good job of presenting an enigmatic secret society and it’s traditions in a country that has received relatively little coverage. A typically quirky BA gem.

 

2

Title: Albania Oil Industry Enjoys Revival, but Investor-Government Relations Remain a Question

Authors: Vlad Popovici and Chris Deliso

Publication Date: February 5, 2012

Reason for Inclusion: This detailed study, drawing upon industry expertise and local testimony, shed new light on an intriguing and underreported area of Balkan economic development, leading to considerable interest from consulting firms and ‘retired’ intelligence types interested in the Balkan energy game.

 

3

Title: Romania’s Winter 2017 Protests: Behind the Power Struggle of the Secret Services, Politicians, and Soros NGOs

Author: Elena Dragomir

Publication Date: March 5, 2017

Reason for Inclusion: While the big international media mosf often swoops in to any protest situation and come out with reports lacking in context, this careful study of Romanian discontent went deep in analyzing the local players and relationships in the justice, security and political spheres, showing in the process that the conventional wisdom of media coverage was incomplete at best, and erroneous at worst.

 

4

Title: The Vatican’s Growing Prominence in Kosovo

Author: Matteo Albertini

Publication Date: April 14, 2011

Reason for Inclusion: While by 2011 the world had heard much about the roles of Islam and Serbian Orthodoxy in Kosovo, the role of the Catholic Church was relatively still neglected. This forward-looking analysis, complemented by specific insights from an Italian perspective, put the issue on the map. It would lead to the publication of an incomparable e-book on Vatican diplomacy published by BA four years later, in English and also in Italian.

 

5

Title: Romania-Iran Bilateral Trade: Statistics, Contacts and Companies

Authors: Collaborative

Publication Date: November 23, 2011

Reason for Inclusion: What is essentially a compendium of statistics and other facts resulted in a very hostile communication literally within minutes of publication from ‘unfriendly parties’- indicating yet again the reach and influence of this unassuming little website. Identifying members of special committees and visiting delegations related to one of the world’s most controversial and secretive countries- well, that’s the kind of stuff we enjoy.

 

6

Title: Political “Interests” Saved Kosovo’s Thugs: Interview with Detective Stu Kellock

Author: Chris Deliso

Publication Date: January 13, 2006

Reason for Inclusion: This classic field interview with a former lead detective in UNMIK’s Serious Crimes Unit is one of our historically most important interviews- a scathing indictment of the Western political deal-making that protected war criminals and stymied investigations in the post-war period. It’s required reading for any student of Kosovo history or UN peacekeeping operations.

 

7

Title: Twenty Years On, Can the Dayton Agreement Be Considered a Success Story?

Author: Lana Pasic

Publication Date: November 20, 2015

Reason for Inclusion: This incisive look back at two decades of Bosnian peace – and the peace treaty that was meant to guarantee it – offers a searching critique of the relative successes and shortcomings of the Dayton Accords. Written with the insight that only a local author could provide, it would prove the basis for this e-book available here.

 

8

Title: Left-wing Terrorist Attacks and Organized Violence in Greece, 2008-2012 (

Author: Ioannis Michaletos

Publication Date: February 14, 2013

Reason for Inclusion: This meticulously-researched, detail-oriented assessment of violent leftist movements in Greece was (we are told) closely analyzed by various foreign embassies and services, appearing at a time of uncertainty when Greece’s financial crisis and youth unrest bubbled along. It remains a useful resource for historians of the period and subject.

 

9

Title: “The EU and Turkey Need Each Other”: Interview with Ambassador Selim Yenel

Author: Maria-Antoaneta Neag

Publication Date: July 20, 2016

Reason for Inclusion: Looking at this exclusive interview within its historical context reaffirms how significant it was; arranged only three days after the failed military coup against President Erdogan in Turkey, it proved the website’s ability to gain crucial access to key decision-makers at important moments,  cobstituting one of the world media’s first interviews with a major Turkish figure following the chaos of the July 15 coup attempt. As such, the interview stands as both a significant historic text and as a publication that had a specific influence at the very combustible and uncertain time of its release.

 

10

Title: Adventures with the CIA in Turkey: Interview with Philip Giraldi

Author: Chris Deliso

Publication Date: July 30, 2006

Reason for Inclusion: Who doesn’t love an exclusive interview with an elite veteran CIA field officer? In this fascinating interview, retired officer Giraldi (who has become quite a well-known writer and commentator in his own right in recent years) gives a candid appraisal of what life and work were like with the Agency in Turkey during the late 1980s. Classic Balkanalysis in action.

 

11

Title: Italian Migration Security Update: Anarchist Plots, Weapons Smuggling and a Controversial Extradition

Author: Elisa Sguaitamatti

Publication Date: May 12, 2016

Reason for Inclusion: This local analysis of fast-evolving security incidents affecting Italy, European security partners and interests further abroad showed an exceptional capacity to ascertain and identify minute local details completely omitted from international reporting, while clarifying major aspects of related reporting, resulting in a concise and fact-rich overview of interrelated security threats.

 

12

Title: With the Paris Summit, the EU’s Balkan Connectivity Agenda Takes Shape

Author:  Blerina Mecule

Publication Date: July 12, 2016

Reason for Inclusion: Isolating the key diplomatic and political events that shape the region’s future has always been a strength of the website, and this analysis is a good example, covering as it does the specific actions and agreements made in an ongoing process of deepening relations with the Balkan states and the EU- thus providing both topical analysis and a good future benchmark for major regional historical events.

 

13

Title: Turkey’s Fifteenth EU Progress Report: on the Road to Guinness, rather than Europe?

Authors: Çağrı Yıldırım and Erdinç Erdem

Publication Date: December 29, 2012

Reason for Inclusion: This prescient analysis of Turkey’s relations with the EU as it evolved during the first decade of the AKP government has proven one of our most frequently-consulted analyses among research scholars, and its conclusions remain useful today for anyone trying to understand modern Turkish politics and EU relations.

 

14

Title: Brain Drain in Montenegro: from Data Assessment to Possible Solutions

Author: Bilsana Bibic

Publication Date: March 29, 2015

Reason for Inclusion: As the Balkans moves into a new era, we continue to keep a broad view of the situation. This article assesses one of the newer Balkan state’s efforts to deal with an old problem – emigration – by paying close attention to the specifics of actual programs and possible outcomes, giving readers some orientation for future events.

 

15

Title: On One Summer Night in Skopje, All Hearts Beat for Toshe

Author: Chris Deliso

Publication Date: July 2, 2004

Reason for Inclusion: 2017 marked a decade since the passing of Toshe Proeski, and Macedonia has never really recovered from the loss of its favorite son. It can thus be considered a real privilege to have covered this event, only three years before the tragedy. Accompanied by our original and now, somewhat historic event photos, this concert review gets to the essence of what made Toshe such a beloved figure and great musician. Documenting historical events can seem more retrospect, and this is never truer than in cases where death interferes, making them impossible to ever cover again.

Note: in addition to our extensive back archive of articles similar to these selected, be sure to check out our regularly-updated series of e-books, available here in Amazon Kindle format.

2004-2009 Back Archives