Building a multiethnic state in Kosovo: The management of minorities after independence.
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This thesis examines the adoption of a multiethnic liberal democratic model of governance in post-independence Kosovo and the dual task of statebuilding to secure unity and accommodate diversity through the development of an extensive institutional and legal framework of minority rights. It defines the management of plurality as a fundamental element of contemporary statebuilding that seeks to build social cohesion and gain the obedience of all its constituent peoples. This thesis explains why in post-conflict and postindependence Kosovo, its domestic sovereignty and legitimisation have become conditioned by the integration, accommodation and protection of minorities. In the context of the international involvement in Kosovo and its highly contested statehood, the existing literature highlights the imposing and exogenous character of statebuilding as largely responsible for its shortcomings. This research challenges this predominant view and draws attention to endogenous factors that may offer a more accurate analysis of how the state model designed for Kosovo has been transformed and limited by local idiosyncrasies. Through a collection of in-depth personal interviews and extensive analysis of laws, reports and official documents, this work answers the question of how successful Kosovo has been in managing diversity. These data reveals the legislation implementation gap and the variation in the de facto levels of integration, depending on the will and capacity of each community to assume their rights and on their socio-economic, demographic and political particularities. The tensions and unintended consequences arising from the priority to address the situation of Kosovo Serbs through power-sharing and farreaching provisions are highlighted in their asymmetrical impact on different communities and the enhanced risk of segregation and marginalization. Overall, this thesis shows that the adoption of a multiethnic state model is crucially limited by endogenous conditions and the state-society relationship in Kosovo remains largely undefined.
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