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M.C. (Magdalena) König, MA

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Governing through Prevention: Understanding EU-South East European Integration in Counter-Terrorism

Counter-terrorism policy has come to be an important topic in EU enlargement. In its counter-terrorism practices towards South East Europe (SEE), the EU has focused much more on preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) than on traditional police-based counter-terrorism. Such a preventive counter-terrorism approach relies on a wide variety of societal actors on local, state, non-state and regional levels and international partners and connects a broad range of policy areas to counter-terrorism. I am interested in the ways in which P/CVE acts as a governance technique of enlargement. How is P/CVE employed to govern enlargement dynamics and controversies? In the empirical chapters of this thesis, I look at three ways in which preventive counter-terrorism governs enlargement. Firstly, I look at the depoliticisation of counter-terrorism that a broad conceptualisation of preventive counter-terrorism enables and how this depoliticised field is used in South East Europe to enable consensus around potentially controversial issues. Secondly, I examine the increasing overlaps of the discourses of P/CVE and the core obstacles to enlargement which are state structures and conduct. P/CVE in South East Europe partially aims at reforming state structures which becomes particularly powerful when placed under the enlargement framework, a highly asymmetrical and hierarchical process. Thirdly, I look at temporality, future-making and P/CVE and examine how a certain future for South East Europe-EU relations is constructed through prevention. The thesis relies on the methodical approach of multi-site digital fieldwork which includes document analysis, expert and practitioner interviews, and ethnographic online observation.

Last modified:07 October 2022 6.39 p.m.