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Stagnation and Drift in the Western Balkans

The Challenges of Political, Economic and Social Change

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Edited By Claire Gordon, Marko Kmezic and Jasmina Opardija-Susnjar

This volume allows a new generation of scholars, from the Balkans and beyond, to shed light on some of the struggles the region faces. The combination of post-communist and post-conflict transition, together with the current economic and financial crisis, pose difficult challenges for the Western Balkans.
What is the state of democracy in the region? Are the countries of the Western Balkans stuck somewhere between authoritarianism and genuine democracy? What are the remaining obstacles to state building? What effect has the crisis had on young people in the Western Balkans?
These are some of the questions the authors of this volume seek to answer. The studies look at different countries and combine methods from various disciplines ranging from political science, history, economics and law to sociology, anthropology and cultural studies.

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Marius Calu - What Makes Kosovo A ‘Weak’ State? - 145

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Marius Calu What Makes Kosovo A ‘Weak’ State? Introduction Kosovo has undoubtedly been the focal point of many international controversies and debates over the politics of interventionism, inter- national law, ethnic cleansing, peace-building, state-building, the role of international administrators, the right to self-determination and, more recently, the problems arising from the 2008 unilateral declaration of independence. Kosovo declared independence almost WHQ\HDUVDIWHUWKHZDUDQGXQGHULQFUHDVLQJLQÁXHQFHIURP the European Union, it aims not only to foster its international rec- ognition and defend its status but also to continue build its domestic sovereignty in tandem with the Europeanization of the Western Balkans. In other words, in its post-2008 quest to meet European standards and construct stable democratic governance, Kosovo continues to have a highly contested statehood and even lacks the VXSSRUWRIÀYH(8PHPEHUVWDWHVZKLOHDOVRIDFLQJWKHFKDOOHQJHV of perennial state weakness. The overall aim of this chapter is to investigate the process of SRVWFRQÁLFWVWDWHEXLOGLQJLQ.RVRYRIURPWKHSHUVSHFWLYHRIH[RJ- enous and endogenous factors that can perpetuate state weakness by undermining the character of domestic sovereignty. I investigate this by considering a literature that starts with a critique of liberal interventionism, which emphasizes the changing character of sover- HLJQW\DQGWKHVRFLHW\²VWDWHULIWVRDVWRH[SODLQZK\FRQWHPSRUDU\ VWDWHEXLOGLQJKDVDSDUDGR[LFDOHIIHFWRIVWDWHZHDNHQLQJDQGVWDWH failure. I argue that a competing literature has been emerging with WKHDLPRIVWLPXODWLQJPRUHFRQVLVWHQWH[SODQDWLRQVRIVWDWHZHDN- ness by highlighting the perennial legacy of the past in relation to the absence of state-society interdependence. 146 Marius Calu )LUVWO\,EULHÁ\H[DPLQHVRPHRIWKHFRUHFRQFHSWLRQVRQVWDWH formation and point out the contemporary model of democratic legal authority so as to understand what type of state-building has become...

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