For most of the post- Cold War period, academic approaches to the political and economic evolution of the South-East European societies were dominated by investigations on violence and nationalism. This was the immediate effect of the violent disintegration of former Yugoslavia (1991- 2001). In the international public sphere, representations of the South-East European region were largely shaped by discourses that recycled heavily charged and negative perceptions. This has led to a rather important misinterpretation of the wider political and economic transformation of the region and more importantly of the fact that these transformations did not affect the region collectively and indiscriminately. This paper attempts to highlight the implications of these long- standing perceptions for the study and the discussion of the South-East European region. Furthermore, it examines new trends which could help promote an alternative (self-) perception of the region and thus halt its symbolic exclusion from Europe.
Keywords: Balkans/South-East Europe, Post- communism, Epistemology, Discourse,