Journal of Liberty and International Affairs 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Goran Ilik Open Journal Systems <p><span class="text14_333"><span class="blue16"><em>Journal of Liberty and International Affairs </em>is a triannual (3 regular issues per year), international, open-access, and peer-reviewed journal published by the<em> Institute for Research and European Studies. </em>This journal follows a regular publishing schedule with the occasional addition of a special issue. The journal aims to provide an active international forum for analysis, research, and debate in a broad range of fields. It welcomes submissions primarily from the fields of political sciences, international relations, and law. Additionally, contributions from economics and related fields are also encouraged. The journal embraces multi- and interdisciplinary scholarship and comparative approaches. </span></span><strong>The journal is <a href="">indexed</a> in SCOPUS, EBSCO, DOAJ, CEEOL, SSOAR, ERIHPLUS, HeinOnline, ANVUR, Columbia International Affairs Online, ProQuest, UGC-CARE List Group II, etc.</strong></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Journal of Liberty and International Affairs | JLIA<br /></strong></p> <p>First publication: April 2015</p> <p>ISSN: 1857-9760 (online) | Open Access | Language: English</p> <p>JLIA is indexed in <a href="">Scopus</a> (<a href=";tip=sid&amp;exact=no">Q3</a>) (CiteScore 2022: 0.3 | SJR 2022: 0.137 | SNIP 2022: 0.273)</p> <p>JLIA uses the plagiarism screening tool: <a href="">PlagScan</a></p> <p>Authors are invited to submit articles to JLIA through the <a href="">online</a> submission system or by e-mail: <strong><br /></strong></p> <p>The authors are strongly encouraged to read the <a href="">peer-review policy</a> section, the <a href="">Article Guidelines</a>, and the <a href="">Publication Ethics</a> section carefully before preparing an article for <a href="">submission</a>, as well as to check the article for conformance before submitting it for publication.</p> <hr /> THE IMPACT OF COLLECTIVE MEMORY ON THAILAND’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE 2023-06-08T22:44:56+02:00 Sanyarat Meesuwan <p><em>This study uses the theory of collective memory in international politics to examine the connection between collective memory and foreign policy to investigate why the Belt and Road Initiative has witnessed slow progress in Thailand. Qualitative data were gathered from various sources, including books, newspapers, journals, policy documents, and textbooks. The study concludes that cooperation between states is essential for achieving shared objectives but is contingent upon establishing mutual trust. Collective memories that one country maintains concerning another country can influence mutual understanding and trust, becoming ingrained even if the situation responsible for the memories changes or no longer exists. In the case of Thailand and China, the Thai government’s push for the high-speed rail project faced criticism and concerns due to the public’s deep-seated fears and distrust of China, the result of historical events and past experiences. This paper’s findings highlight the state’s role in creating collective memory and otherness, recognizing that external variables such as major power activities play a significant role</em>.</p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT, COMMUNITY, AND SOCIAL SERVICE DELIVERY IN KOSOVO 2023-06-08T22:47:29+02:00 Ferdi Kamberi Zeqir Hashani <p><em>Community development is vital in networking and creating social capital. Local governments in Kosovo cooperate closely with their communities by offering public and social services, inclusivity, and social integration. This cooperation increases active citizenship, community development, social welfare, and local democracy. This paper aims to research and analyze the relationship between local governments and their communities, focusing on providing social services. The applied methodology included a quantitative survey of 300 respondents from three municipalities: Pristina, Fushe Kosove, and Obilic, targeting citizens aged 18 and above of both genders. The results show that local authorities in these municipalities offer community services and include their communities in policy-making and decision-making. While they also offer social services, community-based services should be restructured, and local authorities should pay more attention to empowering the community more comprehensively. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 FACTORS AFFECTING CORRUPTION IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR: EVIDENCE FROM VIETNAM 2023-06-08T22:54:30+02:00 Hoa Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy Nguyen Thi Thanh Nguyen Nghi <p><em>This research utilizes a structural equation modeling (SEM) technique to comprehensively examine the intricate interactions among various factors influencing corruption in Vietnam’s public sector. The findings reveal that certain factors, including inadequate anti-corruption policies and enforcement, a lack of accountability and transparency in anti-corruption endeavors, and significant income disparities between public officials and anti-corruption measures, significantly and positively impact the cultural and social norms associated with anti-corruption. Additionally, insufficient cultural and social standards exert a notable and positive influence on the level of corruption in the public sector. The outcomes of this study provide valuable insights for developing effective policies and strategies that promote accountability, transparency, and good governance to combat corruption in Vietnam’s public sector. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INNOVATION AND FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE IN THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT OF EXPORTING COMPANIES 2023-06-08T22:58:49+02:00 Arben Jusufi <p><em>This research aimed to measure the impact of innovations (product innovation, technological innovation, marketing innovation, and process innovations) on the financial performance of exporting enterprises. It was based on return on assets (ROA), increase in return on sales, net profit, and increases in value per employee. The research was carried out based on primary data through the quantitative method. The study's participants were 150 Kosovo exporting companies selected randomly. Based on Pearson’s correlation analysis, it was found that there is a weak positive linear relationship between organizational innovations and product innovation, and financial performance. Additionally, a moderate positive linear relationship exists between marketing innovations, process innovations, and financial performance. Referring to the multiple linear regression, it was revealed that innovations explain 46.7% of financial performance. Process and marketing innovation had the greatest impact on financial performance, while organizational innovation had a lesser impact. The findings of this research contribute to improving the financial performance of exporting companies in Kosovo, focusing on the type of innovation that most influences performance. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE IMPACT OF THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN CONFLICT ON ARMENIA'S FOREIGN TRADE: A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS 2023-06-09T08:07:18+02:00 Diana Galoyan Diana Matevosyan <p><em>This article aimed to provide a quantitative assessment of the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict on Armenia’s foreign trade. The research problem was to analyze how the conflict influenced Armenia’s export and import patterns regarding geographical directions and product structure. The objectives were to examine the changes in trade turnover and identify shifts in geographical trade directions and trade structure. The study employed various statistical analysis tools, including dynamic series indicators, structural analysis, time series modeling, trend and moving average approximation, and extrapolation. Through these methods, the study evaluated the effects of the conflict on Armenia’s foreign trade. The key results indicated a positive impact of the conflict on trade turnover, with increased trade activity in various geographical directions. Export diversification was also observed as a result of the conflict. Notably, re-export played a significant role in the unprecedented growth of Armenia’s trade turnover during this period. In conclusion, the findings suggest that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict had a discernible influence on Armenia’s foreign trade, leading to changes in trade patterns and increased trade activity. The study highlights the importance of the re-exports role in analyzing trade dynamics. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE PROCESS OF INFORMING THE PUBLIC ABOUT DISASTER RISKS 2023-06-09T08:11:00+02:00 Vladimir M. Cvetkovic Aleksandra Nikolic Aleksandar Ivanov <p><em>Social media informs the public about the most important events and conveys important information. Before, during, and after disasters, social media are used to disseminate information about disasters and collect data relevant to the implementation of preparedness, response, and recovery activities and measures. Social networks are effective in disseminating information and warnings, as well as in educating the public. The subject of the research is examining the influence of demographic factors on the effectiveness of social media in informing the public about the risks of disasters. Using an online survey questionnaire and according to the snowball principle, a survey of 247 respondents was conducted in 2022. The research results show no statistically significant relationship between the respondents’ education level and the assessment of the effectiveness of social media reporting on disasters. Using social media can improve communication between stakeholders in disaster management and facilitate coordination of efforts, fostering communication and allocation of resources. To effectively use social media in disaster management, decision-makers in the disaster management system must be aware of new technologies, their disadvantages and advantages, and ways to collect and analyze data from social networks. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 UNPACKING GENDER DYNAMICS IN ALBANIAN JOURNALISM: A POST-COMMUNIST PERSPECTIVE 2023-06-09T08:21:21+02:00 Jonila Godole <p><em>This study provides evidence of the challenges faced by women journalists in Albania after the fall of communism based on a nationwide survey of 295 journalists. Despite an increase in the number of women journalists, their emancipation in journalism is not necessarily implied. Women journalists tend to be confined to reporting on “soft news” sections or cultural and social topics, reinforcing traditional gender roles. Many women journalists conform to societal expectations and adopt gender stereotypes to exert influence while facing obstacles such as a male-dominated hierarchy, self-censorship, and pressures from family and editorial supervisors. Female journalists who make a name for themselves often cover male-dominated topics, following a masculine logic to gain respect and struggling to maintain their femininity. The study sheds light on the challenges and complexities women journalists face in Albania, providing insights into the gender dynamics within the media industry. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 OVERLAPPING COMMUNICATION LOGIC FOR GLOBALIZING PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: THE CASE OF JORDAN 2023-06-09T08:26:15+02:00 Emad Ayasreh <p><em>This paper explored how Jordan used overlapping communication logic to enhance its global public diplomacy. Few studies have examined Jordan’s public diplomacy, so this research presents vital information about Jordan’s diplomacy nationally, regionally, and internationally. Because of the dynamic cultures, values, and norms brought about by globalization, nations need to use effective communication strategies to promote public diplomacy. In this case, the public referred to both the domestic and foreign public. The three main communication logics explored were individual, relational, and holistic logic. The research adopted a qualitative systematic literature review, and a sample of ten articles was obtained from Google Scholar and Z-Library. The study found that Jordan has used overlapping communication logic to enhance its public diplomacy domestically, in the Middle East, and globally on different occasions. The limitation of this research was its small sample size. Comprehensive quantitative analysis research is recommended to learn how satisfied Jordanians are with their country’s public diplomacy. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 CHINA-INDIA COUNTERBALANCING MEASURES THROUGH INTERNATIONAL CORRIDORS AND PORTS: THE FOCUS ON CHABAHAR AND GWADAR PORTS 2023-06-09T08:28:19+02:00 Kashif Hasan Khan Ali Omidi <p><em>Beijing and New Delhi, as new world emerging powers, despite border skirmishes, have not considered themselves arch-rivals. Still, the necessities of real politics have forced India to take counter-measures towards China’s grand connectivity strategy in the framework of BRI and the Maritime Silk Road. This article assumes that China’s grand connectivity strategy has not targeted India in particular, but unavoidably it has affected India’s strategic interests in the Indian Ocean and Eurasia. In a qualitative and case study methodology, this research explains China’s grand connectivity strategy and how it affects Indian strategic interests. It also elaborates on India’s counter-measures vis-à-vis China policy. It concluded that the Chinese connectivity strategy has affected Indian strategic interests in the Indian Ocean and Eurasia. Therefore, Chabahar, Gwadar ports, and Malacca Strait are centers of gravity in these great connectivity rivalries. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 UKRAINIAN MIGRATION DURING THE FIRST YEAR AFTER THE BEGINNING OF THE RUSSIAN ARMED CONFLICT IN 2022 2023-06-09T08:33:46+02:00 Rossen Koroutchev <p><em>This study examines the evolution of Ukrainian refugees during the first year after the start of the full-scale armed conflict on 24 February 2022, which resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis and high levels of migration both within Ukraine and towards Europe. Using official statistics, the changes in border crossings from Ukraine to neighboring countries during the first year of the conflict are investigated. Additionally, surveys conducted with Ukrainian refugees in several European countries and author interviews conducted in Bulgaria, Spain, and Germany reveal the specific needs of refugees and the main challenges to successful integration into host labor markets and societies. The Temporary Protection Directives and other local protection programs are analyzed in this study, accompanied by a comprehensive discussion on similar initiatives. The primary conclusion drawn from this research affirms the presence of substantial challenges in the successful integration of Ukrainian refugees into host societies, despite the efforts made by the respective governments. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 LEVERAGING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: SATISFACTION AND WORK MOTIVATION MANAGEMENT 2023-06-09T08:36:55+02:00 Faruk Ahmeti <p><em>Companies must continually adapt to technological advancements to gain a competitive edge and enhance performance. Active employee engagement plays a crucial role in achieving and improving performance, necessitating promoting motivation and job satisfaction. This study explores the relationship between motivation, job satisfaction, and employee performance, with employee engagement as a mediator. Specifically, the research focuses on Information Technology (IT) companies in Kosovo and various locations across the European Union involved in different projects. The sample for this study comprises 112 respondents selected through convenient sampling. The research model is analyzed using Partial Least Square (PLS) analysis with SmartPLS 3.0 software. The empirical findings indicate that motivation positively influences employees’ engagement and performance in various IT positions. However, job satisfaction has no direct impact or exerts a relatively low influence. Nonetheless, employee engagement significantly enhances employee performance by mediating the effects of motivation and job satisfaction. The research findings have significant managerial implications, emphasizing the importance of actively promoting motivation, innovation, and job satisfaction to increase employee involvement and achieve desired outcomes. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 INFORMING GLOBAL HEALTH DIPLOMACY: EXAMINING HEALTH AND PEACE THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GLOBAL BURDEN OF DISEASE 2023-06-09T08:38:52+02:00 Tomislav Mestrovic Driton Kuqi Goran Bandov <p><em>In this study, we aimed to examine the interconnectedness of health and peace, recognizing its significance within global health diplomacy, international relations, and human rights. For that purpose, we used the results from previous and ongoing Global Burden of Disease studies, which represent a comprehensive systematic appraisal of health problems and risks affecting populations worldwide. This paper could use its methodological underpinnings to analyze the impact of war, conflict, and terrorism on mortality and overall human health. In 2000, war and conflict were responsible for an estimated 310,000 deaths globally, compared to 2019, when this number decreased to 69,000. Recent findings reinforced the association between war, conflict, and increased all-cause mortality. Interpersonal violence also significantly contributed to human health loss resulting from disrupted peace. In Europe, disability-adjusted life years due to injury – including those caused by conflict – declined between 2000 and 2019. As we prioritize global health, peace-building initiatives, and global health diplomacy, big data will increasingly play a substantial role in accurately predicting and describing the health effects related to conflicts. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 COMBATING CROSS-BORDER ORGANIZED CRIME IN THE BORDER REGION OF THE STATE: STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGY 2023-06-09T08:44:43+02:00 Oleh Farion Dmytro Kupriyenko Yurii Demianiuk Andrii Nikitiuk <p><em>The article describes the methodology for the following successive stages: data collection on cross-border organized crime; analysis of the impact of PEST factors of the border region on the number of cross-border crimes committed by organized criminal groups; generalization and analysis of parameters for assessing the capabilities of organized criminal groups; assessment of the level of capabilities of organized criminal groups to commit cross-border crimes; passporting of organized criminal groups specializing in cross-border crimes; modeling of scenarios of the development of organized criminal groups illegal activities by types of cross-border crimes; selection of options for fighting cross-border organized crime by the targeted impact on organized criminal groups. The strategy envisages a complex of the following measures: rapid (operational) interventions in critical situations; anti-crisis measures of the border guard operation to neutralize threats; other regime and control measures to strengthen the protection of the state border; standard planned and preventive measures; measures of sustainable development of the border security system. Implementing the methodology in practice enables the development of a strategic approach to effectively utilize the resources of state law enforcement agencies in combating cross-border crime.</em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE REGIONAL DIMENSION OF CORRUPTION RISKS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC IN THE LIGHT OF DECENTRALIZATION 2023-06-09T08:50:07+02:00 Yevheniy Haydanka <p><em>The article elucidates the relationship between decentralization and corruption risks in the Czech Republic. Economic inequality in the regions inevitably leads to corruption risks. The unemployment rate and the wage level determined the fragmentation of the Czech regions. Most Czech regions (8 out of 14) have an average unemployment rate (of 3-5%). The capital Prague (44 thousand korunas), as well as the Central Bohemian Region (35 thousand korunas), significantly differ from the rest of the Czech regions in wage level (within 31-32 thousand korunas). If the Czech regions are similar in the unemployment rate, there is a noticeable stratification between the capital and other regions. The findings of an expert survey among civil servants and deputies of regional Assemblies identified corruption and anti-corruption measures in the regions. The sphere of public administration is the most corrupt. Partially corrupt is the provision of administrative services. The greatest corruption risks result from the employees’ influence on funding sources (grants, subsidies and grants). On a 10-point scale, the average corruption in the regions is 5,8. More research prospects derive from studying corruption risks at the regional rather than national levels and expanding the geographical framework of the transition countries under research. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 DIGITAL SOFT POWER DIPLOMACY: THE CASES OF GERMANY, ITALY, AND SPAIN IN THE COUNTRIES OF EASTERN PARTNERSHIP AND CENTRAL ASIA 2023-06-09T08:55:14+02:00 Borna Zguric Lidija Kos-Stanisic Dana Lusa <p><em>The main objective of this article was to examine how Germany, Italy and Spain practice digital public diplomacy in Eastern Partnership and Central Asia countries in 2022, i.e., how they promote their countries through their embassies’ Facebook profiles. Three research questions posed by the authors were: 1) Which social networks and applications have embassies of Germany, Italy, and Spain used in the countries of Eastern Partnership and Central Asia to inform and communicate with different audiences?; 2) Which soft power tools were dominantly communicated by the German, Italian, and Spanish embassies on Facebook profiles in countries of Eastern Partnership and Central Asia during 2022 to promote their own countries?; and 3) Are digital diplomacy tools of Germany, Italy, and Spain, that they utilize to promote their own countries and communicate with the public of Eastern Partnership and Central Asia, following their foreign policy focus? The authors have used quantitative content and thematic analysis to answer these questions. The results were presented with the use of descriptive statistics. The authors’ findings indicated that digital diplomacy 2.0 is standard practice for Germany and Italy in Eastern Partnership and Central Asia. Less information was available regarding Spain’s digital diplomacy efforts. The research’s findings further demonstrated that Germany and Italy exhibit greater interest in the Eastern Partnership and Central Asian countries compared to Spain, which was concordant with their foreign policy focuses. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 EVALUATION OF THE PRINCIPLE OF TAX FAIRNESS IN THE TAX ON INCOME OF NATURAL PERSONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA 2023-06-09T09:02:14+02:00 Sejdefa Dzafche <p><em>The paper analyzed the development stages in the taxation of the income of natural persons in the Republic of North Macedonia through the prism of their compliance with the theoretical approaches in regulating the matter of income taxation. For this purpose, the initial stage of this research was the review of the impact of frequent amendments to the regulatory framework (relevant legislation) on the realization of the principles of vertical and horizontal justice. In the analysis of the normative-legal framework, the primary focus was the regulation’s influence on the realization of the principle of justice in taxation in the legal system of the Republic of North Macedonia (RNM). Additionally, the teleological method was used to identify the level of realization of the goals and functions of the RNM tax system. In that context, the effects of income taxation on the redistributive function were analyzed. The basic hypothesis from which the paper starts is that the frequent changes and modifications in income taxation concepts resulted in violating social-political principles in taxation. The research results indicate an inconsistency in the development of the system of income taxation of natural persons in RNM, which leads to a violation of the vertical and horizontal justice and the redistributive function of the income tax. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE PARACEL ISLANDS IN 1884-1945: AN APPROACH FROM THE RIVALRY BETWEEN FRANCE, CHINA, AND JAPAN 2023-06-09T18:34:04+02:00 Quyet Luu Nguyet Nguyen <p><em>The Paracel Islands are situated in the South China Sea geographic center and have an important strategic location for the military and the economy. Since 1884, France has represented the Vietnamese state as a protectorate to manage the archipelago. In the context of France seeking to expand its influence into the Asia-Pacific region, disputes over sovereignty over the Paracel Islands occurred during the colonial period between France (representing Vietnam), China, and Japan. The article aims to analyze the importance of the Paracel Islands in the policies of France, China, and Japan in general. Moreover, the specific activities of France in the struggle with China and Japan to affirm and protect sovereignty over the Paracel Islands would also be analyzed. Based on primary and secondary data, along with historical research methods, research methods in international relations, and other interdisciplinary research strategies, the article concludes that the Paracel Islands play an important role in the strategies of France, China, and Japan. Hence, the Paracel issue in this period has gone beyond the framework of traditional territorial disputes, becoming "internationalization” with consequences that persist to the present day. France's policy to exploit and administer the Paracel Islands was persistent, thorough, and systematic in the military, economic, political, and diplomatic spheres. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 BANK PROFITABILITY DETERMINANTS: EVIDENCE FROM KOSOVO AND ALBANIA 2023-06-09T18:38:39+02:00 Vese Qehaja-Keka Skender Ahmeti Muhamet Aliu <p><em>This research aims to examine the factors that impact the profitability of commercial banks in Kosovo and Albania. Profitability is crucial in the financial sector as it directly affects policymakers, regulators, and bank management. The study focuses on several determinants of bank profitability, including the number of employees, loan interest rate, non-performing loans, and total loans. The study employed quarterly secondary data spanning from 2010 to 2020, resulting in 400 observations. The analysis used multiple linear regression, influenced by the huge number of observations and the applicability of ordinary least squares (OLS) for such studies. This method allowed for a thorough examination of the interactions between the dependent and independent variables, providing a more in-depth understanding of the factors driving bank profitability. The statistical significance was determined using software such as STATA and SPSS. The dependent variables in the analysis are return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE). The findings reveal that the loan interest rate, total loans, and non-performing loans significantly influence the profitability of the analyzed banks in Albania and Kosovo. Furthermore, the total number of loans and employees are statistically significant determinants of ROE. These findings provide valuable insights for bank management and policymakers in enhancing bank profitability and stability. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 DEMOCRACY AND WESTERN IMPERIALISM: TOWARDS DECOLONIZING RELIGIONISM IN NIGERIA 2023-06-09T18:43:20+02:00 Peter O. O. Ottuh Thomas Eneji Ogar Ibiang Obono Okoi <p><em>The way allied Western nations protect their interests has been a major problem and factor in the demise of governance and democracy in the Nigerian state and other African nations. This has made Nigeria’s democracy, like that of other African countries, unstable since independence. Therefore, this article examined Western imperialism, which used religion as a tool and barrier to a strong, viable democracy in Nigeria. The article used critico-historical analysis as a method. The results showed that although Western imperialism and globalization, along with religion, have an expansionist and civilizing nature, they have also exhibited traits of dominance over other countries and systems of governance, thus making democracy weak and less rewarding. We argued that Nigeria’s democracy and religion must be independent and self-sufficient to avoid Western exploitation and imperialism and provide a context for religious inculturation. We concluded that for Nigeria and other African nations to thrive in true and strong democracies, religion should be decolonized through pulling down colonial religious presumptions, de-internationalization of religion, reorientation of religious education, restoration of indigenous languages, authentication of religious freedom, non-governmental funding of religion, and provision of theologically motivated research to a more legitimate position within religionism. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 ON THE TRANSPARENCY OF ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN FINANCING IN ALBANIA AND NORTH MACEDONIA 2023-06-09T18:49:55+02:00 Andon Kume Linert Lirëza <p><em>This paper analyzed the legal framework regarding transparency in financing political parties for the election campaign in Albania and North Macedonia. The main object was the identification and analysis of the changes in the legislative solutions that are implemented in these two countries for issues related to (i) the method of reporting the financing of the election campaign, (ii) the periodicity and time of reporting, (iii) the publication of donations with private funds, (iv) the institutions of monitoring and auditing financial reports, (v) publication of financial reports and (vi) sanctions for violators of the law. The assessment of the level of law enforcement, as a reflection of the differences in the two countries' efforts toward the development of democratic elections, was part of the objectives of this study. The comparative analysis was the main methodology used in this paper. Based on the results of this analysis, it can be confirmed that the national legislation for the financing of election campaigns in Albania and North Macedonia is: (i) drafted following the requirements and standards defined in international documents, (ii) the differences are a reflection of the process of democratic development of these two countries. The quality in the implementation of the legislation was identified as a factor with hindering effects on the transparency of the financing of political campaigns. The commitment to improve the legislation aiming, in particular, additional capacities development for controlling and law-enforcing institutions, as well as the engagement in education and strengthening the culture for implementing the rule of law, are necessary for both countries. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 UNDERSTANDING VOTER BEHAVIOR AND ELECTION DYNAMICS: A CASE STUDY OF THE 2021 LOCAL ELECTIONS IN KOSOVO 2023-06-09T18:52:14+02:00 Lavdim Terziu Besard Belegu <p><em>This study aims to analyze whether the 2021 local elections in Kosovo can be classified as first-order elections based on sufficient evidence. Employing a quantitative approach and utilizing surveys among eligible voters, the methodology allowed for observing indicators supporting the local elections’ classification as first-order. An empirical study was conducted using Google Forms, encompassing the entire region of Kosovo and involving a representative sample of respondents (n=596). The study also relies on data from the Central Electoral Commission (CEC). The research design employed a comparison approach and a deductive method. The study’s key findings reveal that despite the diverse practices and ideologies of developed countries, the most recent local elections in Kosovo should be recognized as first-order elections. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 LEGAL REGULATION OF INTERNAL PARTY DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA 2023-06-09T18:55:29+02:00 Ufuoma Veronica Awhefeada Edward O. Okumagba Patrick Chukwunonso Aloamaka <p><em>The lack of internal democracy in many political parties in Nigeria has created a general loss of confidence in voters toward the electoral process and democratic consolidation. This paper examines the extent to which political parties have adhered to or deviated from the relevant Constitutional and electoral law provisions in Nigeria toward achieving internal democracy and how this has affected voters’ attitudes and confidence in the electoral process and Nigerian democracy generally. To achieve this objective, the researchers utilize the doctrinal research method in examining the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution on internal party democracy, the relevant Electoral laws, and judicial decisions. During the work, it is observed that political party leadership in Nigeria rarely heed the relevant constitutional provisions and laws on internal party affairs. The paper finds that judicial decisions concerning this issue have not followed a similar pattern, which has greatly eroded voters’ confidence. It recommended a compelling need for the judiciary to follow legally valid precedents established in earlier judgments in deciding new cases arising from intra-party affairs, especially concerning the substitution of candidates. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 DEMOCRATIC BACKSLIDING IN GEORGIA AND THE ROLE OF THE RIVALRY BETWEEN THE GEORGIAN DREAM AND THE UNITED NATIONAL MOVEMENT 2023-06-09T19:30:09+02:00 Orcun Caliskan <p><em>Over the past decade, the political system in Georgia was marked by a two-party system which was mainly attributed to the flawed electoral system. This led to the prevalence of the political arena being dominated by the ongoing competition between the Georgian Dream and the United National Movement and affective polarization. However, in recent years under the leadership of Georgian Dream, the progress of democracy in Georgia slowed down and there was a rise in authoritarian tactics used by the government to suppress opposition. This study employed qualitative research techniques over a range of primary and secondary sources to explore the role of democratic backsliding, freedom of media, and the incarceration of prominent political figures in the political polarization of Georgia. The study contended that the "winner takes all" mindset of the competing parties began to undermine Georgian democracy and its global reputation as the rivalry threatened Georgia’s progress toward European integration. The study concluded that the rivalry and the polarization had significant implications for the future of politics in Georgia and its relationship with Europe. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA TO THE PREVENTION AND FIGHTING OF MIGRANT SMUGGLING 2023-06-09T19:32:33+02:00 Muhamet Racaj Mitasin Beqiri Senat Saliu <p><em>The Republic of North Macedonia, as a country with a central geographic location on the Balkan Peninsula, represents a transit state through which the main road passes, where nearly a million migrants passed in recent years. This is also why many gangs and criminal groups that operate in an organized manner in the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia are allowed to commit criminal offenses related to the smuggling of migrants, which is also the research problem of this paper. With the content analysis method, we offer an overview of the criminalization of the offense of “migrant smuggling” in the Republic of North Macedonia. In contrast, through the statistical method, we offer a statistical analysis of criminal offenses of this type to create a good overview of the number and manner of committing these criminal acts. Based on the results of official statistical data from 2017-2021, it has been established that the number of smuggling migrants is increasing, while the number of persons convicted for the criminal offense “smuggling of migrants” is increasing slightly. We conclude that the Republic of North Macedonia has raised its capacities following international standards and has made a legal and institutional contribution to the prevention and fight against migrant smuggling. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 SINO-CENTRAL ASIA RELATIONS: DISTURBANCE, DEPENDENCY OR DEVELOPMENT? 2023-06-09T19:41:05+02:00 Sukanya Bali Seerat Arora <p><em>Over time, China has emerged as one of the leading economic partners in Central Asia. After the disintegration of the USSR, China spread its influence and replenished the power vacuum left. The five Central Asian states embraced a partnership with the Belt and Road Initiative. Economic and connectivity opportunities were prioritized. However, these states faced socio-economic and political challenges during the pandemic due to weak internal structures. In the post-Covid era, China’s presence in the region has once again spurred due to their dependence on Beijing. The paper will examine the Chinese footprint in Central Asia through border and trade relations, Xinjiang politics, and BRI policy. Second, implications of the economic, geopolitical, and social order after the pandemic. Third, how Central Asia is rebuilding itself from the domestic crisis, dependency theory will be used to investigate the multifaceted relations. The attempt is to answer if the Chinese presence brings sustainable development or increases dependence. The study shall conclude that Chinese presence requires a redefinition of the “status quo, sovereignty, and development” beyond economic interaction and cooperation.</em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 SECURITIZATION OF PIPELINE: THE UKRAINE CRISIS AND THE ROLE OF THE NORD STREAM IN THE POLITICAL AND SECURITY RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE EU 2023-06-09T19:44:09+02:00 Arash Beidollahkhani Homayoun Rahmani <p><em>Drawing on the theoretical framework of the Copenhagen School of Security Studies, the paper’s aim focuses on the role of the Nord Stream pipeline in the Russia-EU political and security relations, considering its securitization following the Ukraine crisis and Russia’s military intervention against this country. The paper, utilizing the comparative analysis method and securitization theory, argues that in the past, the Nord Stream pipeline significantly contributed to maintaining friendly relations between Russia and the EU, assisting the two parties in determining foreign policy positions and flexibility. However, following the Ukraine crisis and the subsequent development of mistrust and increased military threats, this pipeline has lost its position and stabilizing role, and it no longer fulfills its previous function of fostering relations between the EU and Russia. The paper concludes that after the Ukraine crisis, it became securitized, and rather than holding a constructive role, it has adopted a threatening role for the EU and its Western allies, especially the US.</em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 INTERNATIONAL AND MACEDONIAN LEGAL TREATMENT OF THE EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS OF REFUGEES 2023-06-09T19:47:20+02:00 Hristina Runcheva Tasev Milena Apostolovska Stepanoska Leposava Ognjanoska <p><em>This article aims to provide an overview of the legal framework protecting the right to education of refugees in North Macedonia. The right to education is one of the fundamental human rights guaranteed by many international legal instruments. International treaties are particularly strong on the universality of the right to education. In the first part of the paper, the authors examined various international legal instruments regarding the educational rights of refugees and immigrants. In the second part, the emphasis was placed on the Macedonian legal framework and public policies by examining the incorporation of the norms of international law into the domestic legal order by comparison. As part of the so-called Balkan route, North Macedonia has witnessed mixed migration flows from the Middle East through the Balkans on their way to Central and Western Europe in 2015-2016. Although it has been a transit country for most of the time, there are some asylum seekers whose educational rights were disregarded due to the existing gap between the legislation and implementation. The authors’ conclusion emphasizes the challenges that have to be tackled by different stakeholders in order to facilitate access to education for refugees entirely. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 COMPETITION OF STRATEGY BETWEEN CHINA AND INDIA IN THE INDIAN OCEAN NOWADAYS 2023-06-09T19:52:17+02:00 Tran Long Yen Tran Hien Huynh Hiep Tran <p><em>In recent years, the Indian Ocean Region has become central to the strategies of major global powers due to a series of geoeconomic and geopolitical factors. While China increased its influence in this region by opening up connections within the framework of the BRI, offering loans, and constructing infrastructures, India, with its “neighborhood first” policy, also preserved its traditional sphere of influence. Due to the rising strategic competition by powers, Indian Ocean Region was at the crossroads of great power competition, especially the strategic competition between China and India. The article was based on a comparative approach and simultaneously compared India and China’s influence in each field in the Indian Ocean region. The analysis showed that competition between China and India in the context of the two countries still has many tensions, leading to each country’s efforts to strengthen military control over the Indian Ocean region. However, this competition tends to serve as a balance between the two countries, motivating them to develop regional power rather than allowing a single dominant state to become a hegemon. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 SCRUTINIZING ANTI-CORRUPTION INITIATIVES IN EUROPE: LESSONS TO LEARN FOR INDIA? 2023-06-09T19:58:13+02:00 Siddharth Kanojia Shashi Bhushan Ojha Muzaffar Hussain Mir <p><em>Many studies have concluded that corruption hinders economic expansion by threatening the viability of the public budget and reducing the capital available for infrastructure development and social welfare. Thereby cultivating social inequality and eroding trust in the state and institutions. In recent decades, the European Union (EU) and India have experienced multiple corruption cases, including bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power. Consequently, some EU nations and India have attempted to implement legislations and frameworks to curtail corrupt practices. The impact of adopted approaches can be witnessed in the contrasting scores and ranks of both regions on the Corruption Perception Index. Therefore, considering the distinctiveness in the efficacy of the approaches adopted by both of these regions, this paper intends to explore the efficacy and limitations of anti-corruption initiatives and frameworks implemented in the EU region and, subsequently, recommend the adoption of a similar approach which may prove to be beneficial in addressing the pressing issues of political and bureaucratic corruption in India. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 NATO’S ROLE IN THE POLICY OF NON-PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND GLOBAL SECURITY: A SHORT OVERVIEW 2023-06-10T09:00:04+02:00 Alika Guchua <p><em>The purpose of this work was to determine what role NATO plays in the policy of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the modern world. The research primarily examined the threats that come from weapons of mass destruction and how it affects global security. As for research methods, to get reliable information. The methods of policy analysis and document analysis were used to analyze and describe the challenges faced by NATO in the non-proliferation policy of weapons of mass destruction. In order to obtain reliable and objective information, a wide range of documents, strategies, and scientific papers were analyzed. The mentioned study showed us that NATO’s policy of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction faces many challenges and threats from aggressive states, terrorists, extremists, criminal groups, aggressive religious actors, and in the overall context, asymmetric and symmetric threats. The role of NATO is very important in the security policy of the alliance and the policy of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the world. NATO should be able to protect global security from weapons of mass destruction threats through pragmatic policy and dialogue. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE STATE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN RUSSIA: TOWARDS ORTHODOX MONOPOLY 2023-06-10T09:03:57+02:00 Aram Terzyan <p><em>This paper explores the state of religious freedoms in Putin’s Russia, with a special emhasis on the Kremlin’s intensifying efforts at establishing Orthodox monopoly. It is an in-depth case analysis that uses policy and discourse analysis to examine the state of religious freedoms in Russia. It suggests that anti-extremism law has become an instrument of state control over a wide array of speech or activity. Through state-supported legislation, the authorities censor religious life to prevent the rise of anti-government sentiments. The groups most affected by the government’s anti-religious policy are “non-traditional” religious groups, facing hardships in exercising their rights and freedoms. Their activities are increasingly banned on the grounds of “extremism” and “terrorism”. Russia’s tightening of legislation on extremism has been combined with its withdrawal from the Council of Europe, which poses additional threats for religious communities by eliminating any international scrutiny over the government’s actions. This paper concludes that while Russian history has been traditionally characterized by religious intolerance towards small denominations, the intensifying crackdown on religious freedoms is part of the Kremlin’s policy of ensuring a monopoly across the country for the Russian Orthodox Church. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 AI AND DIPLOMACY: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES 2023-06-10T09:05:52+02:00 Marta Konovalova <p><em>This article focused on two distinct areas: diplomacy for AI and AI for diplomacy. The first point investigated challenges faced by diplomats associated with creating stability in cyberspace and diversifying objects of cooperation. The second point sought to identify the threats and opportunities associated with AI in diplomacy; to explore the impact of digital tools on diplomatic capacity, technological limitations through digital diplomacy, and uncertain future demand for the diplomatic profession; to investigate the necessary competencies of civil servants in managing alternative reality and collaborating with technical specialists. The research utilized a qualitative approach, employing analysis of existing literature and diplomatic practices related to AI and its effects on diplomacy. The research underscored the importance of diplomats’ readiness for change and their understanding and utilization of new technologies. It highlighted the need for interdisciplinary training programs incorporating innovative thinking, big data management, and machine learning to foster effective collaboration between diplomats and technical specialists. We concluded that embracing AI and digital capabilities can empower diplomats and enhance the effectiveness of diplomatic instruments in achieving national goals in times of peace and hybrid war in the real world and the metauniverse. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE NON-MAJORITY COMMUNITIES’ RIGHTS IN KOSOVO: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RIGHT TO EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION 2023-06-10T09:07:53+02:00 Sabiha Shala Gentiana Gega Emirjeta Berisha <p><em>International and national legislation guarantees the right to employment and education for every citizen, including members of non-majority communities. As a multi-ethnic state, Kosovo has very advanced legislation to guarantee access to employment and education for members of its non-majority communities. This study aimed to examine the actual level of enforcement of these two rights by members of non-majority communities. Relevant scientific works, local and international legislation, and statistical data on the level of access to the labor market and the education system of non-majority communities in Kosovo were consulted for this study. The research results show that access to the labor market and the education system varies across communities and has not continuously increased in 2015-2021. The situation has particularly affected the RAE community, which has the highest percentage of unemployment (over 90%) and the lowest access to pre-university education (below 5%). Therefore, this article recommends that relevant stakeholders take measures to ensure the proper enforcement of access to employment and education rights for non-majority communities in Kosovo. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND FINANCIAL CRISES DISMISS LAISSEZ-FAIRE CAPITALISM 2023-06-10T09:13:43+02:00 Arton Hajdari Shenaj Hadzimustafa <p><em>This paper addressed the globally spread challenges that countries face, such as environmental issues, which have been accumulated for years, and financial crises, which have been repeated many times in the world’s economy during capitalism. Indeed, through a qualitative scientific approach, the article argued that laissez-faire economics or laissez-faire capitalism (as an economic system or doctrine, i.e., a liberal and classical view of economics) is not the right way to overcome and deal with these problems. Instead, some interventions in the economy and cooperation between countries and the respective institutions are required so that these difficulties (environmental issues and financial crises), which do not recognize borders, are prevented and afforded properly. Thus, this publication presented how challenging environmental issues are, which are spread worldwide, and it also discussed financial crises, such as the 2008 Financial Crisis (also known as the Great Recession) and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Overall, this paper concluded that dual crises (environmental and financial crises) are the robust proofs that dismiss the extreme form of capitalism or economics, known as laissez-faire. </em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 COMPARATIVE PRACTICES OF THE BALKAN COUNTRIES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION 2023-06-10T09:17:01+02:00 Edita Naskovska Nikola Gjorshoski <p><em>This paper focuses on the individual holders of public office or duty and the numerous past and present criminal cases related to corruption and abuse of power. By analyzing the penal policies of the courts in several regions (North Macedonia, Romania, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania), as well as the imposed sanctions and court verdicts, this paper presented the fundamental characteristics of the criminal justice system’s functioning in preventing such forms of crime. Through a comparative analysis of experiences, empirical research (case study), and an overview of the situation in multiple Balkan countries, the paper, as a key result, offered a comprehensive examination of the specific offen<strong>s</strong>es outlined in the legislations of the countries under investigation and presented legal solutions derived from various Balkan nations. Finally, the paper concludes that corruption is a general problem in all the investigated countries and proposes possible solutions.</em></p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Cover Page and Table of Contents 2023-07-08T10:25:07+02:00 Journal of Liberty and International Affairs <p><em>Journal of Liberty and International Affairs</em> is a triannual (3 issues per year), international, open-access, and peer-reviewed journal published by the Institute for Research and European Studies. The journal aims to provide an active international forum for analysis, research, and debate in a broad range of fields. It welcomes submissions primarily from the fields of political sciences, international relations, and law. Additionally, contributions from economics and related fields are also encouraged. The journal embraces multi- and interdisciplinary scholarship and comparative approaches. The journal is <a href="">indexed</a> in SCOPUS, EBSCO, DOAJ, CEEOL, SSOAR, ERIHPLUS, HeinOnline, ANVUR, Columbia International Affairs Online, ProQuest, UGC-CARE List Group II, etc.</p> 2023-07-10T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023