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Germany’s recognition of Kosovo as an independent state in 2008.

Himmrich, Julia (2017) Germany’s recognition of Kosovo as an independent state in 2008. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.gmevioqotev4

Abstract

In February 2008, Kosovo declared independence. It was a highly controversial move that divided international opinion. While the United States and many EU members quickly recognised the new state, many other countries, including Russia and China and several EU members, did not. Even today, Kosovo remains a contested state. Although Germany recognised Kosovo quickly, it nevertheless expressed concerns over the failed international efforts to reach an agreement. This thesis analyses Germany’s decision to recognise Kosovo as independent despite the multilateral disagreement. It traces the position of Germany on Kosovo from the early 1990s until recognition in 2008. It pays particular attention to the final months of negotiations, when Germany represented the EU in the ‘Troika talks’ that also involved the US and Russia. In 2008 Germany was less committed to a Kosovan state than its close allies in the Quint – a five state group that also included the United States, Britain, France and Italy. Domestically the coalition parties had different approaches towards the status question. Also the international division on the status in the EU and the United Nations Security Council were a significant obstacle for the German leadership to accept a unilateral declaration of independence. The acceptance of this international divide came when domestic actors were persuaded that the Troika negotiations had exhausted all possibilities for a resolution. From a theoretical standpoint, Germany’s decision to recognise is examined in regards to its Civilian Power identity and specifically to intervention and multilateralism. It is argued that Germany recognised Kosovo due to its long-standing involvement in the intervention in the conflict and due to concerns that an unresolved status would bring greater instability to the Western Balkans. Germany’s recognition was therefore built on a rationale of conflict management and expectations of an increasing role of the European Union in this process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2016 Julia L.A. Himmrich
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Economides, Spyros and Ker-Lindsay, James
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3608

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