Europeanisation meets democracy from below: The Western Balkans on the search for new European and democratic Momentum (WB2EU)

The Centre of International Relations (CIR) is one of the 18 research centres of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) of the University of Ljubljana (UL). It is one of the largest research centres engaged in International Relations and EU affaires in the region. It has 20 active members – researchers.

CIR is the main reference point for EU related issues in Slovenia, providing expertise to public and private institutions and cooperating with research and academic organizations, civil society and media at home and abroad. In the field of EU affairs, among other things, CIR has conducted research on EU accession/enlargement, Europeanisation process, economic transition, institutional development, development aid, Common foreign and Security Policy and Neighbourhood policy, with regional focus on Central Europe, Western Balkans and Euro-Mediterranean relations. Research by CIR has been widely recognized, receiving high visibility and a number of awards.

In 2013-2014 CIR has, in cooperation with partner organisations from Western Balkans, implemented JM Network on Western Balkans named AcadEU. Over the last years it has implemented several bilateral cooperation projects with Western Balkans countries, which were funded by the Slovenian National Research Agency. Members of CIR have collaborated in over a dozen of initiatives and projects in which partner institutions and individuals from Western Balkans were involved.

CIR is a member of a number of research associations and networks and has established direct links to several of the prominent research institutes around Europe and in Western Balkans.

A number of CIR researchers are also members of International Relations Chair at the FSS, UL, which offers European Studies BA and MA programme and supervises PhD theses in the European Integrations field. CIR has implemented several Erasmus projects on regional academic networking and teaching of the EU, some of which have received awards. CIR members have been engaged in Erasmus student and staff exchange programmes together with partners from Western Balkans.

Marko Lovec, Assistant Professor, University of Ljubljana

Marko Lovec teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses on, among others, Methodology and Theory of International Relations, International Political Economy, Development of International Community and Development of the EU. He is a senior research fellow at the Centre of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences. He is the head of the Commission on quality at the Faculty. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Ljubljana. He is an associate researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). He was an associate researcher at the Central European University, Centre for Policy Studies in Budapest and a visiting fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague.

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Faris Kočan, Teaching Assistant, University of Ljubljana

Faris Kočan is teaching assistant and researcher at the Centre of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences. He holds a Master’s degree in European Studies/Civilization, University of Ljubljana. His interests: Process of Europeanization of the Western Balkans; Penetration of Turkish foreign policy instruments in the Western Balkans; Process of De-Europeanization in general; European integration theories.

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