The Politics of Statehood and the Ungovernability of Peace

  • Gëzim Visoka
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


In an attempt to regulate the ethnic conflict and side-line parapolitical structures in Kosovo, international missions installed power-sharing arrangements that provided minority communities with political representation in institutions. This chapter explores the role of ethnic elites in shaping peace in Kosovo. It argues that power-sharing arrangements did not result in pacifying ethnic conflict; rather this institutional engineering enabled power-seizure by ethno-nationalists, the entrenchment of ethnic hostilities, and the exploitation of institutions for resisting fluid interventionism and peacebuilding in Kosovo. The institutions became a battlefield where Kosovo Albanians pursued their agenda of peace as statehood, Serbs pursued their agenda of peace as autonomy, and other minorities pursued their agenda of peace as co-existence. Accordingly, what emerged from elite statebuilding and divergent peace agendas is an ungovernable peace in Kosovo, whereby existing political elite structures in the country are not capable of transforming the conflict and contributing to a positive, sustainable peace.


International Mission Transitional Justice Ethnic Division Building Peace Nationalist Discourse 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gëzim Visoka
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Law and GovernmentDublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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