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Local Sustainable Development and Spatial Cohesion in the Post-transition Balkans: in search of a developmental model

  • Vassilis Monastiriotis
  • George Petrakos

The transition process that started in the Balkans some twenty years ago, and the European association process to which it has been inexorably connected, has led to a radical transformation of the Balkan economic space across local, regional, national and trans-national levels. Amongst the other effects that this have had, was the emergence of new and acute socio-economic dichotomies (polarisation) and problems of persistent underdevelopment, peripherality-rurality and economic dependence. In this paper we review the policies that have been applied to address these issues and examine the relevance of contemporary concepts of local economic development for the mobilisation of cohesive and sustainable development in the Balkans. We examine how the main elements of the new regionalist developmental strategy relate to the basic dimensions of socio-spatial infrastructure in the Balkans and identify the key weaknesses of the latter. We conclude by proposing a wider regional strategy that will be able to r solve the existing deficiencies by means of a regional cooperation approach that will seek to maximise intra-regional synergies and develop local and regional comparative advantages and the provision of similar public goods.

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Paper provided by Hellenic Observatory, LSE in its series GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe with number 29.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hel:greese:29
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  1. Spyros Economides, 2008. "The Politics of Differentiated Integration: the case of the Balkans," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 18, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  2. Barro, R.J. & Sala-I-Martin, X., 1991. "Convergence Across States and Regions," Papers 629, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  3. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2003. "Buzz: Face-to-Face Contact and the Urban Economy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0598, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Vassilis Monastiriotis, 2008. "The Emergence of Regional Policy in Bulgaria: regional problems, EU influences and domestic constraints," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 15, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  5. George Petrakos, 2002. "The Balkans in the New European Economic Space: Problems of Adjustment and Policies of Development," Eastern European Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 40(4), pages 6-30, July.
  6. Vassilis Monastiriotis & Rodrigo Alegria, 2011. "Origin of FDI and Intra‐Industry Domestic Spillovers: The Case of Greek and European FDI in Bulgaria," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 326-339, 05.
  7. Vassilis Monastiriotis, 2008. "Quo Vadis Southeast Europe? EU Accession, Regional Cooperation and the need for a Balkan Development Strategy," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 10, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
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