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Institution building in Kosovo: the role of international actors and the question of legitimacy

Monteux, Camille (2009) Institution building in Kosovo: the role of international actors and the question of legitimacy. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis argues that establishing legitimacy, both in relation to the international community and in relation to local populations, is a critical precondition for the success of international missions in post-conflict situations. The argument is developed through a study of post-conflict institution-building in Kosovo. In 1999, when the Security Council established the United Nations Administrative Mission in Kosovo, the international community had a unique opportunity to develop conflict management mechanisms capable of responding to the contemporary challenges posed by ethnic conflicts. By acting under the United Nations umbrella, the international community could have sent a strong message to the deeply divided population of Kosovo: this mission had the ability to protect them and provide them with institutional structures capable of sustaining long-term economic, political and social peace and stability. Yet the international actors failed to do so. They failed to grant the Kosovo population the security they so dearly needed, and they failed to construct institutions appropriate to the challenges faced by the territory. This thesis argues that this occurred because of the international community’s inability to provide legitimacy for their actions and policies. As the different actors focused their attention on attempting to secure legitimacy vis à vis the international community, they failed to nurture the roots of the new political system they wished to establish by obtaining the support of Kosovo’s population as a whole. After developing a working concept of legitimacy, I analyse the degree and nature of legitimacy of the different international actors, and their policies at each stage that led to the establishment of a new political system in Kosovo. Through this analysis, I provide an explanation for the failure of the international community to offer a satisfactory and sustainable solution to the Kosovo issue.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2009 Camille Andrée Marie Monteux
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > Government

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