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          I have a great pleasure to introduce to you a novel and different, fourth issue of the journal Western Balkans Security Observer. The difference is due to at least three reasons. The first is that the journal now has a new visual identity. We have tried to strike a balance between strict professionalism, on the one hand, and the refreshing creativeness of our young researchers, on the other. The binoculars are there to clearly perceive and confront the key security issues of the region. Furthermore, the editorship has decided to have four annual editions of the journal, as of January 2007, instead of six printed so far. Another novelty is found in the challenging and hot topics addressed by this edition. We, first, have two texts analysing the regulations on the expanding private security sector in Serbia and the causes behind its growth. One of the related key questions we will be facing in the future is whether this phenomenon is part of the solution or else a part of the problem of security. Increasingly tense political relations between Russia and the EU due to gas and oil supplies were a good enough reason for us to probe into the energy security of Serbia. In addition to private and energy security, increasingly present in the academic and political debate is also the topic of using biometric technology in security management. This edition offers an article explaining the characteristic features of the Serbian debate on biometric personal identity cards. 

           

          Along with several new topics, this edition also offers interesting views on some already broached issues. Thus, two articles deal with what could be done to improve the coexistence of Serbs and Albanians in the municipalities of Bujanovac, Preševo and Medveđa. Also, you could find everything you wanted to know about the policy of conditionality but did not know who to ask, in an article signed by a researcher of the Belgrade School of Security Studies. The third novelty is a column intended for reviews of websites and professional publications. Thus, this edition looks into one of the most important web portals addressing security.

           

          Filip Ejdus, Executive Director of the Centre for Civil-Military Relations and Research Fellow at the Belgrade School of Security Studies

        • Tags: Albania, Serbia, conflict, privatisation of security, energetic security, police, community police, European Union, Europeanization, human rights, human security, elections, gendarmery, conditionality
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