n recent years, both Russia and Turkey stepped up their policy in the Balkans. Doing so, they oftentimes pose a direct challenge to the West. The talk will explore the role of religious ties to communities in the region, both as a driver and as an instrument of influence.
Dimitar Bechev is the director of the European Policy Institute, a think-tank based in Sofia, Bulgaria and a Fellow at the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Bechev has written extensively on EU’s external relations, the politics and modern history of Turkey and the Balkans, and Russia’s foreign policy. His book Rival Power explores Russia’s role in Southeast Europe (Balkans, Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey).
Dr. Bechev’s current research examines the foreign policy of hybrid regimes, looking at the cases of Russia and Turkey. It inquires into the impact of domestic politics and institutions on external relations.