Kosovo Faces Its Demons

The World Today, February/March 2018 | Go to article overview

Kosovo Faces Its Demons


Andrea Garaiova sees an appetite for stabilization after years of failed state-building

When Ramush Haradinaj was appointed Kosovo's prime minister in September, foreign embassies in Pristina once again pinned their hopes on a former war leader to strengthen the rule of law and bring together Kosovo's divided communities, the majority Albanians and the minority Serbs.

For Kosovo citizens who have lived through ten years of rule by former commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army, it came as no surprise that the Haradinaj government was to show little regard for democratic principles.

Accommodating 22 political groups led Haradinaj to construct an unwieldy cabinet, with more than 70 ministers and deputy ministers. The government may be the biggest on record, but its modus operandi is unchanged - as old elites struggle to stay in power they need to buy the support of an ever-wider range of politicians. The international community - principally the United States and European Union - is not blameless in this. By lending support to longtime Kosovo leaders, the foreign partners have helped to entrench the elite's capture of the state.

Yet the tide may be turning. The statesmen-like mask worn by Kosovo politicians fell away in December when 43 assembly deputies attempted to repeal the law establishing a special court to try crimes committed in Kosovo between 1998 and 2000, including - but, it should be stressed, not exclusively - by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army who now hold leadership positions. The bid infuriated the country's international partners. 'This is a terrible example of personal interests being given priority over the interests of the entire country,' said Greg Delawie, the US ambassador to Kosovo.

Placing one's own interests before those of the citizens has been a recurrent feature of Kosovo's politics, and personal interests have often won out. The difference now is that the political and financial investment made by the international community in the Specialist Chambers, as the court is known, has turned them into a project that is 'too big to fail'.

In the words of Driton Selmanaj, an MP with the Democratic League of Kosovo party: 'The problem is that our politicians stopped taking foreign ambassadors seriously.'

In recent years the Kosovo leadership has increasingly tested the resolve of the EU to hold them to their end of the bargain regarding EU conditionality and agreements reached on normalizing relations with Serbia. But the damage resulting from Kosovo reneging on its promise to deal with its past would be too much for the international community to bear.

Remarkably, the usual division on political questions between Kosovo's Albanians and Serbs vanishes when assessing the political leadership in the country. According to Jovana Radosavljević, the executive director of the New Social Initiative, a northern Kosovo think tank, 'favouring leaders with shady pasts because they deliver has potentially led to the most serious crisis Kosovo has seen in the past ten years'.

Betim Musliu, the head of the Kosovo Law Institute in Pristina, concurs, citing as the EU's biggest mistake the impunity provided to Kosovo leaders in exchange for their - hoped for - obedience in important political processes such as the dialogue with Serbia, the demarcation of the border with Montenegro and the constitution of the Specialist Chambers.

As Florina Duli, the chief of the Kosovo Stability Initiative, said: 'They [the EU], supported by the bilateral missions, helped "dubious" leaders get legitimacy, but also helped break real leaders who enjoyed popular support. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Kosovo Faces Its Demons
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.