And the Dominant Cleavage Is … Democracy, Nationalism, and the Triumph of the Security Syntheses

  • Shinasi A. Rama


In this chapter, I examine the efforts of the international administration to establish a democratic multiethnic political system and to shape political cleavages in the post-conflict Kosova. Their limitless legal powers notwithstanding, the international administration failed in its primary task of shaping cross-cutting cleavages that could be conducive to the establishment of a meaningful multiethnic democratic system and the formation of a civic nation in Kosova. The fundamental mistake made by the international institutions was their failure to properly address the issue of the final status of Kosova, the most salient issue according to the security syntheses of the Albanians and the Serbs alike. The international administration substituted the model of a democratic system based on respect and the expectation of equal rights and duties of every citizen with a system squarely based on representative quotas for ethnic collectivities. This categorization from above encouraged and sanctioned the emergence, the consolidation, and the intense salience of ethnic cleavage that was squarely and indisputably based on the security synthesis. The Serbs perceived these actions as giving in to the Albanians. The efforts of the international administration were widely perceived to be just efforts aimed at forcing the Albanians to accept some modus vivendi with the Serbian state, any settlement that would fall short of independence. This perception provoked, as I show here, a strong counter-reaction. The end result of this clash in priorities has been a dramatic increase in support for nationalist movements and political parties that have definitely torn Kosova society apart along the ethnic lines.

Selected Bibliography

  1. Bala, Besnik. “The Haekkerup-Covic Document under Fire.” AIM, November 9, 2001.Google Scholar
  2. Bartolini, Stefano, and Peter Mair. Identity, Competition, and Electoral Availability. The Stabilisation of European Electorates 1885–1985. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  3. Berisha, Arbnora. “Court Ruling Prompts Debate on Genocide.” AIM, October 3, 2001.Google Scholar
  4. Brovina, Flora. “Will Serbs Take a Chance on Kosovo?” The New York Times, October 31, 2001.Google Scholar
  5. Chandler, David. “Report on the Provincial Elections in Kosovo.” BHHRG, November 17, 2001.
  6. Cukic, Valentina. “Mitrovica University.” AIM, November 3, 2001.Google Scholar
  7. Dawisha, Karen, and Bruce Parrot. Conflict, Cleavage, and Change in Central Asia and the Caucasus (Democratization and Authoritarianism in Post-Communist Societies). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  8. Deutsch, Karl, and William J. Foltz, eds. Nation Building in Comparative Contexts. New York: Atherton, 1966.Google Scholar
  9. Dobbins, James, et al. America’s Role in Nation Building: From Germany to Iraq. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Flora, Peter, Stein Kuhnle, and Derek W. Urwin. State Formation, Nation-Building, and Mass Politics in Europe. The Theory of Stein Rokkan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  11. Gallagher, Michael, Michael Laver, and Peter Mair. Representative Government in Modern Europe. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.Google Scholar
  12. Huntington, Samuel. Political Order in Changing Societies. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968.Google Scholar
  13. International Crisis Group. Kosova Landmark Elections, November 21, 2001.Google Scholar
  14. Kitschelt, Herbert. “The Formation of Party Systems in East Central Europe.” Politics and Society 20 (1992): 7–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kraja, Garentina. “Independence: The Real Issue in Kosovo.” Associated Press, November 14, 2001.Google Scholar
  16. Lewis, Paul. Political Parties in Post-Communist Eastern Europe. London: Routledge, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lipset, S.M., and S. Rokkan. “Cleavage Structures, Party Systems, and Voter Alignments: An Introduction.” In Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-National Perspectives, ed. S.M. Lipset and S. Rokkan, 1–64. New York: Free Press, 1967.Google Scholar
  18. Mair, P. “Cleavages.” In Handbook of Political Parties, ed. William Crotty and Richard Katz, 371–375. London: Sage, 2006.Google Scholar
  19. Maliqi, Shkëlzen. “Serbia’s Search for a Way Back to Kosovo.” AIM, July 29, 2001.Google Scholar
  20. Mamdani, Mahmood. Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  21. Moore, Patrick. Kosova’s Serbs at a Crossroads. RFE/RL Balkan Report 5, no. 73 (November 6, 2001).Google Scholar
  22. Pettifer, James. A Concept for a New Reality: Dialogue with Hashim Thaçi – Koncept Për Realitetin E Ri: Dialog Me Hashim Thaçin. Prishtinë, 2001.Google Scholar
  23. Rama, Sokol. “Kosova Election Campaign Kicks Off.” Illyria, October 3, 2001.Google Scholar
  24. Rexhepi, Ibrahim. “The Intricacies of Economic Platforms.” AIM, Prishtina, October 23, 2001.
  25. Römmele, Andreas. “Cleavage Structures and Party Systems in East and Central Europe.” In Cleavages, Parties and Voters, ed. Kay Lawson, Andreas Römmele, and Georgi Karasimeonov, 3–19. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1999.Google Scholar
  26. Stojanovic, Dusan. “Angry Serbs Attack U.N. Mission Head.” Associated Press, October 25, 2001.Google Scholar
  27. Von Beyme, Klaus. “Party Leadership and Change in Party Systems: Towards a Postmodern Party State?” Government and Opposition 31, no. 2 (April 1996): 135–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zuckerman, A. “Political Cleavage: A Conceptual and Theoretical Analysis.” British Journal of Political Science 5 (1975): 231–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinasi A. Rama
    • 1
  1. 1.International Relations ProgramNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations