Introduction: Breaking with Transition
Post-socialist Balkan states are in a condition of economic and political devastation after years of war and struggles to join Europe. One of the most common theoretical frameworks employed to theorize this situation is known as transition politics, which denotes the transition from socialism to democratic capitalism. While transition politics previously referred to the transition from any political rule to another, it now exclusively denotes the transition from socialism to democratic capitalism – the natural end of history’s movement. Transition politics is based on a belief that democracy and capitalism will finally bring peace, stability, and economic prosperity. Based on this belief, international intervention in the Balkans is enforced with the promise of European Union membership and, in turn, political and economic stability. Since the telos is determined, what remains to be controlled are the socio-economic circumstances in which capitalism can blossom. Transition politics is driven by the EU’s civilizing mission as dictated by EULEX, NATO, IC, World Bank, IMF, the U.S., and USAID among others. All brutal mechanisms of transition are justified through the rhetoric of development, economic prosperity, and peace. Stabilizing the Balkan region has become a priority for international agencies, which make promises of economic integration and development.