ABSTRACTS: AJP, Vol. V, Issue 1 (June 2009)
Ethnic Politics in Post-Conflict Kosovo: Agonistic Democracy as an Alternative to Antagonistic Interethnic Relations in Post-conflict Kosovo
A decade since international actors engaged in peace-building and state-building processes in Kosovo, tensions still prevail between the two main ethnic groups, the Albanian majority and the Serb minority, in the country. After failing to build a rational consensus in a deeply divided Kosovo society, international actors have shifted the focus towards legalizing the ethnic divisions by creating or allowing for state institutions to function on the grounds of ethnicity, thus perpetuating ethnic antagonisms. The technocratic approach of international state-building in Kosovo is skeptical about the domestic political process and sees it as damaging to the plans for Kosovo. This study considers pluralist democracy and politics of inclusion as a strategy for allowing communities to articulate and debate their political values and aspirations at a national level. Pluralist democracy would facilitate agonistic relations in which conflict is characterized by a struggle between political adversaries whose existence is legitimate and must be tolerated, thus replacing actual antagonistic relations between enemies seeking to eliminate each-other.
Causes of Civil War Onset
Increased attention to civil conflict has created debate over its causes and whether or not some civil conflicts, specifically ethnic and religious conflicts, should be theoretically separate. Some scholars argue that ethnic and civil wars should not be separated into different categories (Fearon and Laitin 2003) while others assert that ethnic conflicts have theoretically different causes. Along with inconsistent foci on dependent variables, the literature suffers from conflicting model specifications. This paper rectifies this situation by testing conclusions across the literature using Collier and Hoeffler’s (2001) Greed and Grievance Model. I find that ethnic fractionalization significantly predicts ethnic civil war onset; however, ethnic grievance remains the superior explanatory variable. This project supports Sambanis’ (2001) results and concludes that differences between ethnic and non-ethnic conflicts extend beyond ethnic cleavages.
Time to Learn From the Past: Nurturing the Positive Outcomes of Kosovo Conflict
The struggle between human rights and state sovereignty is not a novelty to international law. There is an undeniable a requirement in the contemporary world for sovereignty concept to be seen as pragmatic rather than stringent. This paramount need to limit the scope of sovereignty, in order to avoid its poisonous effect towards the whole of international law, is strengthened further from the unworkable state of Security Council. Had the abuses in Kosovo during the end of the 1990’s been tolerated, so as to keep intact the straight jacket of international law, a very damaging message would have been transmitted to humanity, not to mention the risk of a population becoming extinct. On the other hand, unauthorized intervention not only creates the potential for abuse but also sets a perfect ground for the triggering of a blame game among major political actors. In this article the author supports NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, on the grounds of its unique circumstances it embarked. However, clear guidelines for intervention shall be put in place if we are to strike the right balance between defending human rights and preserving state sovereignty.
Munck, Gerardo L. 2009. "Measuring Democracy: A Bridge Between Scholarship and Politics." Albanian Journal of Politics, V (1) (June 2009)
Reviewed by Michael Ardovino
Hasselmann, Chris. 2006. "Policy Reform and the Development of Democracy in Eastern Europe." Albanian Journal of Politics, V (1) (June 2009)
Reviewed by Catherine Spieser