News

PSSI Published a Briefing Paper Focusing on the External Influence in the Cultural and Religious Sphere in Western Balkans

29.11.2018

This is the fourth briefing paper (out of a series of six), presenting the results of the ongoing research within the project “Western Balkans at the Crossroads: Assessing Non-Democratic External Influence Activities” launched by PSSI in spring 2018.

The paper covers Russian, Chinese, Turkish, the Gulf States’ and Iranian influence in the cultural, academic and religious sphere, areas most often associated with the notion of soft power in international relations. When considering the presence of various foreign actors in the Western Balkans and elsewhere, media and experts often focus on the most obvious manifestations: political and economic links, which provide different foreign actors with direct access to top local decision-makers. Yet, foreign actors significantly rely on religious and cultural links to further advance and strengthen their presence in the region by establishing a broad support base among the local population, by ‘winning hearts and minds’ so to say.

Both the full version and the executive summary are available.

The project "Western Balkans at the Crossroads" seeks to identify, analyze and publicize Russian, Chinese, Turkish, and Gulf State influence activities and sharp power in five post-Yugoslav and not-EU member countries: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo. The project is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.

 

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