Research Interests

The Balkans, Western Balkans, Balkanization, Southeast Europe, EU and NATO enlargement, discourse analysis.

Background & Qualification

Dr Liridona is a Research Fellow at the IICRR. She successfully defended her PhD thesis titled “Back to the Future: ‘Balkanization’ and the Euro-Atlantic processes of the (Western) Balkans” in January 2022. She holds a Master of Advanced Studies in Peace and Conflict Transformation from the University of Basel in Switzerland, and a Master of Arts Degree in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Sciences from the South East European University in North Macedonia and completed an undergraduate Erasmus+ visit at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Liridona has provided administrative, editorial and research assistance for Swedish institutions such as the University of Malmö; Swiss institutions such as the Swisspeace Foundation in Switzerland, the Training and Advice Center for Immigrants (ABSM) in, and the Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis; for institutions in North Macedonia such as the Center for Community Development, and the IPA Cross Border Cooperation Program. For three years, she undertook the role of Project Assistant and Researcher, Teacher, and Trainer within the framework of Erasmus+ European Commission funded project on the Creation of the Graduate Curricula in Peace Studies in Georgia (PESTUGE). She is currently an Editor for the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies (PEPCS).


  • Veliu, L. (2021). The sounds of silence: Democracy and the referendum on (FYRO)/(North) Macedonia. New Perspectives. 29(2), 165–186.
  • Veliu, L. (2019). Balkanization. The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies: Springer.
  • Veliu, L. (2018). #Balkanization: A Critical Study of Otherness through Twitter. Wiesbaden: Springer.
  • Mcdonagh, K. & Veliu, L. (2017). Europe’s new Balkan problem or the Balkan’s new Europe problem: Terrorism and Radicalisation in the EU’s South Eastern borderlands. Dublin: Defence Forces Ireland.
  • Veliu, L. (2019). “What’s in a Name: The Republic of North Macedonia, the Empire Strikes Back”. IICRR blog. Accessible online here.
  • Veliu, L. (2018). “What’s in a Name: The Republic of (North) Macedonia”. IICRR blog. Accessible online here.

Doctoral Research

Back to the Future: Balkanization and the Euro-Atlantic Integration Processes of Western Balkans.

Research Overview

The discourse of balkanization constructs a disintegrated Western Balkan ‘other’ who stands juxtapositionally to the Western ‘self’. The thesis explores how ‘balkanization’ underpins policies of the EU and NATO towards the Western Balkans through shaping and being shaped by ideas of ‘selves’ and ‘others’. The study demonstrates how Euro-Atlantic policies towards the (Western) Balkans being underpinned by ‘balkanization’ have historically emerged from and led to the constant reinvention of the unity of the West through ‘balkanizing’ the Western Balkans.

Contact Details

[email protected]



Dr Kenneth McDonagh: [email protected]
Dr Gëzim Visoka: [email protected]