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‘One Hand Washes the Other’ in EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood: What Policy Response?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sergiu Buscaneanu, Christoph Stefes

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Jun 2020

King's Authors


The institutions of patronage, clientelism and nepotism are resilient, and obstruct political liberalisation and democratic consolidation. This paper draws on historical (neo)institutionalism, democratisation research and studies in economic history to understand the reproduction mechanisms of informal institutions in EU’s Eastern neighbourhood, and to develop a policy response, which could have the potential to disrupt these mechanisms. Outsourcing national judiciary systems from EU’s Eastern neighbourhood to external rule of law missions might offer one solution as long as they satisfy at least three conditions: (a) they need to have a prominent executive mandate; (b) they should be proposed to interested EU’s Eastern neighbours at the point of power transfer to democratic opposition forces; and (c) they must be deployed by an authoritative international actor, such as the EU or UN, under conditions of concerted international efforts and significant financial assistance.

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