This master’s thesis explores how the EU uses externalisation methods to influence migration and border governance in Bosnia. The aim of this study is to contribute to a better understanding of EU externalisation as it elaborates on EU practices in areas where externalisation has not been studied as such– namely, a neighbouring country that is an EU member candidate– Bosnia. Additionally, the thesis will also enable a greater level of understanding of the governance of migration and borders in Bosnia. By using qualitative content analysis of policy documents, reports and interviews, this paper found that the EU applies multiple externalisation methods, such as conditionality, socialisation and learning, in order to reach internal migration policy goal via third-state. In addition, this study contributes to a better understanding of different means through which externalisation can be practised, such as operational outsourcing, indirect coercive learning, and the executive component of socialisation. Moreover, the combination of three theoretical frameworks: post-colonial theory, border dimensions and externalisation methods, enabled understanding of the dichotomy between the EU portraying itself as an area of freedom, security and justice and the violent methods it employs indirectly, via third parties outside of its territory, in order to preserve its liberal image. It is in this sense that this study observed post-colonial continuity in the exercise of power hegemony and exclusive liberalism where liberal values are not extended to people on the move, mostly the racialised ‘others’, in the territory outside of the EU.

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Dr. Asya Pisarevskaya, Prof.dr. Peter Scholten
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Matea Grbeša. (2023, August 11). Between liberal values and illiberal practices:. Public Administration. Retrieved from