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Keywords:

  • self-conscious affect;
  • affective intelligence theory;
  • shame;
  • guilt;
  • European Union enlargement;
  • Netherlands;
  • Serbia

Having been traumatized by the actions of the Bosnian Serb army and its primary supporter Serbia in Srebrenica, the Netherlands insisted on applying strict EU conditionality criteria for Belgrade's candidacy. The Dutch determination to repeatedly stall the process of EU-Serbian negotiations and to snub the preferences of the rest of the EU members cannot be adequately explained without taking into account the role of self-conscious affect. The article not only provides a fresh perspective of the enlargement process, but it also offers revisions to the habituated-deliberative choice hypothesis, which to date has not taken into account the role of self-conscious affect.