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Trade Unions, Transnational Solidarity and Ethnic Divisions: EU Social Dialogue and Post-War Reconstruction in the Western Balkans


The research project addresses the EU's regional approach to support countries in the Western Balkans in their progress towards EU membership. It focuses on the social reconstruction in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia and the regional dialogue on social and employment policies within the Bucharest process. The study investigates local and national trade unions strategies to challenge downward pressure on labour rights and standards brought about by the implementation of a neoliberal model of reconstruction. It analyses the counter-influence of European social dimension as well as practices of the international organizations such as the UNDP, ILO and International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) and civil society organizations on the development of 'transethnic' regional solidarities. It also examines the forms of labour collaboration necessary to counterbalance hostile employers and governments. The main question concerns the efficacy of EU support for social dialogue and the implementation of the ILO 'decent work agenda' in empowering trade unions in their struggle for labour rights and standards in post-conflict former Yugoslavia. The issue is especially pertinent considering the wider study of post-conflict societies, marked by social fragmentation, ethnic divisions, political clientelism, poverty, informal economy and migration pressures.


Decent work agenda, Ethnicity, Labour standards/rights, post-communism/socia, trade unions


Likic-Brboric, Branka (2009) Global Governance, EU Enlargement and Development: New Migration, Transnationalism and the Political Economy of Europeanization of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in A. Neergaard (ed.) European Perspectives on Exclusion and Subordination: A Political Economy of Migration, Maastricht: Shaker Publishing (ISBN 978-90-423-0364-5)

2009 - 2017


FAS/FORTE Research environment funding

REMESO Project Leader

Branka Likic-Brboric, Associate Professor (biträdande professor)

Contact for project


Last updated: 2016-05-16

Page responsible: erik.berggren@liu.se
Last updated: 2020-05-27