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Forging Kosovo: Between Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence


Edited By Arben Hajrullahu and Anton Vukpalaj

For many areas of social science research, including conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and international state-building, Kosovo remains a uniquely interesting and relevant case. This book is motivated by the belief that there is much to be gained, analytically and empirically, from bringing together local scholarship that focuses on Kosovo-specific issues. It helps understand how pathdependent historical legacies set in motion prior to and during the war for independence, coupled with contemporary processes of dependence on and interdependence with external actors, shaped contemporary Kosovo society and institutions. It brings together a methodologically diverse set of local scholarly perspectives on contemporary political, legal and societal developments in Kosovo.

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Cleavages: Explaining the Social Basis of the Political Conflict and Political Change in Kosovo

Artan Mustafa


Abstract What does the conflict between main blocs of political parties in Kosovo represent beyond the names of leaders and party labels? Informed by the relevant literature on cleavages, this study shows that, in addition to the well-known ethnic conflict, urban vs. rural and centre vs. periphery (regional) divides deriving from self-management socialism’s (1952–1989) extensive social stratification outcomes have been relevant in Kosovo. These dividing socio-demographic lines were politicised by two main blocs of parties in post-war (1999), namely a bloc consisting of parties created by the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leadership and another one centred around the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) which had led the nonviolent independence movement. With growing state resources and authority, the social conflict was reflected in the distributional conflict which was dominated from the “war wing” representing the former poorer, more rural population. After independence, a new significant bloc with a left ideological leaning rose, which contributed to intensified ideological debates and profiling, increasingly appealing to the more urban population – whose interests and new needs were arguably not represented well in the policies after the war.

Keywords: Cleavages, blocs of parties, democratisation, political change, social policy

Two main blocs of political parties dominated the political conflict in Kosovo during the first two decades of post-war (1999–2019), while a third bloc grew in relevance after the declaration of independence (2008). The first (Bloc 1) consists of parties that were created by the leadership of former Kosovo Liberation Army...

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