Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Advisor

Jelena Subotic

Second Advisor

Charles Hankla

Third Advisor

Andrew Wedeman


In this dissertation I argue that established EU member states slow down accession of Eastern European members because they do not consider them suitable for a western-style liberal democracy due to the pronounced presence of specific factors related to ethnicity and geography in the region. I evaluate EU enlargement on wave-by-wave basis and conclude that the major concern with accessing Eastern Europe is Russia’s increased political influence in the region.