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Informality in Eastern Europe

Structures, Political Cultures and Social Practices


Edited By Christian Giordano and Nicolas Hayoz

This volume deals with different aspects of informal structures and practices in Eastern Europe. Its objectives are twofold. It aims at discovering whether or to what extent informal structures and practices in Eastern Europe have meanings, functions, forms and effects different from those that can be observed in the politics and societies of Western Europe. The authors of this volume – most of them are from the region – have been invited to discuss the scientific relevance of the distinction informal / formal in their respective field of research or discipline. This points to the second objective of this volume which is to encourage a more fruitful interaction between disciplines that often disregard each other and which, despite inevitable and essential epistemological differences, have significant shared interests such as the comparative analysis of political phenomena in terms of elementary forms of social organization. The relation between informality and formality in a more methodologically pluralist and ultimately holistic way can be analysed via regards croisés between the disciplines anthropology, political science and sociology. This allows the extension of this comparative and multidisciplinary approach to other themes and phenomena of mutual interests.
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Contested Statebuilding in Kosovo: the nature and characteristics of Serbian parallel structures



Almost a decade has passed since the UN Interim Administration Mission was deployed in Kosovo to halt conflict and restore peace. Subsequently, on 17 February 2008 Kosovo declared its independence. In answer to the request of Serbia’s government, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion concerning the compliance of Kosovo’s declaration of independence with international law. The ICJ concluded that the declaration of independence did not violate international law nor did it contravene Kosovo’s Constitutional Framework (International Court of Justice, 2010: 43). International partners (e.g. France, Germany, Austria, UK) who supported the Kosovo’s independence acknowledged and emphasized a set of circumstances when they recognized the independence of Kosovo and made written submissions to the ICJ in support of Kosovo, describing it as: “quasi-federal unit in Yugoslavia, international protectorate, international mediation on status, de facto independence, and massive human rights violations” (Bieber, 2011: 135).

With the withdrawal of Serbian administration from Kosovo, following the international intervention, the United Nation Interim Mission Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) was mandated to operate and extend fully its authority over Kosovo based on the UNSC Resolution 1244. In response to the suspension of sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia over Kosovo by NATO troops through UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the Serb leadership continued to resist newly establishing international administration institutions by creating so-called parallel structures. While Serbian parallel structures in the eastern and western part of Kosovo have diminished following Kosovo’s independence, parallel structures,...

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