Western Balkans Youth Conference, Hamza Preljević, Muhidin Mulalić

Conference Proceedings – Western Balkans Youth Conference: Regional Cooperation and Integration 2020

Balkan Studies Center (BSC) is pleased to announce the proceedings of the Western Balkans Youth Conference: Regional Cooperation and Integration (WBYS’20). The conference was held on July 10, 2020. The WBYC’20 has promoted a mission of the Balkan Studies Center for improving scholarship and research among young researchers worldwide. The WBYS’20 attempted to seek authors and papers primarily on the topics that tackle regional cooperation and integration. In this regard, the conference aimed to explore regional cooperation within the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), the prospects of the Western Balkans countries in the EU, the Western Balkans post-conflict peace-building, the Western Balkans infrastructure, transportation, communication, telecommunications, energy, economic cooperation, and trade. Thus, the conference primarily aimed to explore realistic issues and challenges beyond the centuries-old conflicting issues of borders, wars, and divisiveness. One small step has been made to deconstruct the Western Balkans and to turn the discourse and attention to the universal, realistic, progressive, scientific, and liberal values. 

The conference was a platform for the exchange of views, experience and research findings among the future researchers and scholars in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and technical sciences. Thus, the conference provided an opportunity for graduate students and young researchers to discuss new initiatives regarding the current and future socio-political, economic and scientific issues and challenges primarily related to the Western Balkans cooperation and integration. Organizing this conference would have been impossible without the support of the Student Parliament at the International University of Sarajevo (SPIUS) and organizing committee members, namely Amar Buljubašić, Amar Karađuz, Hena Begović, Erna Hrstić, Oğuzhan Çoklü, Caner Albayrak, and Selma Ibrekić.  The WBYC’20 is an example of common work towards overcoming challenges in the Western Balkans. Therefore, we strongly believe that the voice of youth is essential in shaping the future of the Western Balkans. 

The WBYS’20 also received significant support from the scientific committee members namely Mr. Hamza Preljevic, Dr. Muhidin Mulalić, Dr. Mirsad Karić, Dr. Aliye Fatma Mataracı, Dr. Mehmed Ganić, Dr. Senad Bušatlić, Dr. Goran Šimić, Dr. Aliaksandr Novikau, Dr. Azra Branković, Dr. Emil Knezović, Dr. Šejma Aydin, Dr. Ena Kazić, Dr. Tarik Namas, Dr. Benjamin Duraković and Dr. Jahja Muhasilović. Not only that they provided organizational support for the conference but they also participated in the review process and moderation of conference panels.

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, the WBYS’20 was held virtually. The participants presented their research papers via a combination of live video platforms. The platform was also used for maintaining interaction among the participants, and virtual networking. Therefore, the participants have had an opportunity to explore current social, political and economic issues in the context of present research studies. Then, they exchanged the views, experiences, findings and enhanced networking, and future collaboration.

The proceedings of the Western Balkans Youth Conference: Regional Cooperation and Integration (WBYS’20) consist of eleven papers that were selected after a rigorous review process by two reviewers. Then, all submitted papers were checked for text similarity and plagiarism by licensed Turnitin software. Eleven papers in this book of proceedings explore the determinants of life expectancy in the EU and Western Balkans; legal and criminal consequences of money laundering; legislation, transnational justice, peace studies, and reconciliation; democratization in the Western Balkans; political participation in the Western Balkans; economic development and employment; diaspora and non-governmental sector.

The Balkan Studies Center (BSC) strongly believe that COVID-19 will not prevent the organization of WBYC’21, which is going to involve a significant number of young graduate students and young researchers to explore current topics on the Western Balkans.

Here you can download a copy of the Conference Proceedings.