By Ermal Frasheri
To countries like Albania, membership in the European Union is presented as the ultimate modernization project that will lift all boats and bring about greater prosperity and democratization.
However, more often than not, transition reproduces hierarchies and inequities that usually underpin relations between a prosperous center and a backward periphery.
Instead of being a cure, a solution to the political primitivism and underdevelopment, the story with Europeanization as a model of modernization suggests that despite noble intentions and goals, reforms in the name of the European Union end up foregrounding a security state apparatus, impose an ideological hegemony, and maintain a political culture that inhibits democratization, while discouraging and displacing the need for endogenous growth strategies.
Read more about my argument in my paper - Of Knights and Squires: European Union and the Modernization of Albania.