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Forging Kosovo: Between Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence

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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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Making of a Country: Constitutional Identity in Practice

Getoar Mjeku

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Abstract This chapter discusses Kosovo’s constitutional identity through a comparative and practical approach. I review literature on the meaning, role, types, and sources of constitutional identity, and apply a broad understanding of this debated concept. I then summarise Kosovo’s history, tied to a popular struggle for constitutionalism and independence, and describe the unique aspects of the country’s identity. The Kosovar constitution is a progressive yet militant document firmly imposing notions of multi-ethnicity against the overwhelming Albanian majority. Kosovo embodies a mix of the German and Spanish models of constitutional identity, marked by a strong constitutional court and protections for non-majority communities. Drafted primarily by international experts, Kosovo’s highest law is an example of internationally grounded constitution-making, found among post-conflict societies. Constitutional identity and constitutional interpretation affect one another through the work of the Constitutional Court. In turn, the Court helps preserve the tenets of the Kosovar republic against domestic abuses and outside pressures.

Keywords: Constitutional law, comparative law, Constitutional identity, Constitutional court, internationalisation

Kosovo and constitutional identity are topics of dispute on their own. Together they make for a much more difficult yet needed discussion with practical consequences. An international force intervened to end Serbian violence against Kosovo’s civilian population in 1999. A decade later Kosovo became an independent state. Independence came both as an unnegotiable popular demand and as a proposed compromise between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority – the former had long preferred unification with Albania, while the latter sought to restore...

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