Kosovo between War and Peace: Nationalism, Peacebuilding and International Trusteeship

Kosovo between War and Peace: Nationalism, Peacebuilding and International Trusteeship

Kosovo between War and Peace: Nationalism, Peacebuilding and International Trusteeship

Kosovo between War and Peace: Nationalism, Peacebuilding and International Trusteeship


A major contribution to the debate about the reconstruction of Kosovo, and to the general discussion surrounding the revived 'trusteeship institution' model in the context of the UN internationalism of the 1990s and the War on Terror following 9/11.

Bringing together leading international scholars, this book presents the latest empirical research alongside detailed theoretical analysis. Examining the key questions local parties and the international community have encountered in Kosovo, including how to develop effective and inclusive local government, how to counter crime and the dysfunctional aspects of liberal economic reform, how to unite the partly opposed goals of reconstructing the province while avoiding renewed ethnic and international strife, and how to handle the specific challenge of Kosovo's future status. The contributors also re-examine the background factors that continue to influence and hamper the attempt to administrate and reconstruct the province, first of all the nationalist ideologies and the record of ethnic violence.

This book will be of great interest to all students of Balkan politics, peacekeeping, international relations and security studies in general.


As this book has taken shape, the challenges and pitfalls of the new international trusteeships in Kosovo and beyond have become more and more evident.

In Kosovo, the pattern of nationalism, mythmaking and revenge has taken on a seemingly permanent character. At the same time, the difficulties associated with societal reconstruction in the absence of clarity concerning future status have become all too clear. In addition, there are increasing doubts as to whether the western model of liberal democracy and capitalism can and should be transferred to war-torn societies like Kosovo without damage-controlling measures and a sensibility towards local traditions and circumstances.

In the more recent examples of Afghanistan and Iraq, the revival of international trusteeship has become securitized to a hitherto unseen degree: military trusteeships designed for an imposed liberal-democratic transformation of dictatorships as a means in the ‘war on terror’ instead of United Nations (UN) trusteeships which – although hardly innocent when it comes to purposes of ideology and security – have been designed as a follow-up to humanitarian intervention as in Kosovo and East Timor. Finally, the return to international trusteeship has given rise to some critical political, normative and theoretical questions concerning the consistency of the institutional framework of international society.

In critical and constructive analyses of the return to trusteeship in Kosovo and beyond, the essays in this book shed further light on these specific and general challenges in an attempt to uncover their causes and point to possible ways forward for international administrators, local authorities and international society as a whole. It is our hope that these endeavours will prove to be of value to the practician as well as the theorist, to the student as well as the researcher.

It has been a great pleasure to work with the contributors who have taken on board several rounds of our comments, in spite of the fact that their contributions were already skilled and inspiring as first drafts. We would also like to express our warmest thanks to general editor Michael Pugh for supporting this project, and to secretary Helle Bundgaard for invaluable assistance with the manuscript. Our biggest debt is to Chris Freeman, who has provided strong linguistic assistance and many helpful comments on the book as a whole as well as on a number of draft chapters including the opening one.

Tonny Brems Knudsen and Carsten Bagge Laustsen . . .

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