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Prioritising "Order" and Causing Chaos: The International Subversion of Sovereignty in Kosovo - 31 August

Thursday, 31 August 2017 11:28am

Open lecture: Prioritising "Order" and Causing Chaos: The International Subversion of Sovereignty in Kosovo


Dr Aidan Hehir, Reader, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster

About the lecture

Eighteen years after NATO’s controversial intervention, Kosovo is widely recognised as one of the most corrupt, ethnically divided and under-developed countries in Europe. Its international status remains contested, and in recent years the international media have increasingly warned of looming violence. Rather than blaming the people of Kosovo for the current malaise – and relying on lazy, essentialist tropes related to “ancient ethnic hatreds” – the cause of Kosovo’s myriad woes stems from the manner in which it has been controlled by “the internationals”; the array of foreign actors who have both formally and informally exercised control over Kosovo’s political system. Since assuming control over Kosovo in June 1999, the internationals have pursued a strategy designed to preserve “order” so as to maintain a veneer of “success”. This has involved micro-managing Kosovo’s political and judicial institutions, but more destructively, international actors have colluded with a criminal elite in Kosovo. This nefarious policy has been built on a quid pro quo; the international community would turn a blind eye to the criminality and corruption of the elite who would in return guarantee that Kosovo does not descend into renewed civil war or generate regional instability. The result of this order-orientated strategy, however, has been a disaster for Kosovo. Rampant corruption has led to political and economic stagnation, mass emigration and an attendant increase in societal anger directed both at the criminal elite and the unaccountable internationals. Kosovo is thus a salutary lesson in how the subversion of sovereignty ultimately undermines domestic stability.

Thursday 31 August
5:15 - 6:15
Moot Court Lecture Theatre