IICRR lecturer Dr Gëzim Visoka has published a new book Shaping Peace in Kosovo: The Politics of Peacebuilding and Statehood (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). The book explores the prospects and limits of international intervention in building peace and creating a new state in an ethnically divided society and fragmented international order. The book offers a critical account of the international missions in Kosovo and traces the effectiveness of fluid forms of interventionism. It also explores the co-optation of peace by ethno-nationalist groups and explores how their contradictory perception of peace produced an ungovernable peace, which has been manifested with intractable ethnic antagonisms, state capture, and ignorance of the root causes, drivers, and consequences of the conflict. Under these conditions, prospects for emancipatory peace have not come from external actors, ethno-nationalist elite, and critical resistance movements, but from local and everyday acts of peace formation and agnostic forms for reconciliation. The book proposes an emancipatory agenda for peace in Kosovo embedded on post-ethnic politics and joint commitments to peace, a comprehensive agenda for reconciliation, people-centred security, and peace-enabling external assistance.
“This book illuminates the international attempts to build peace amidst a history of ethic confrontation and the clash of demands for self-determination with the doctrine of territorial unity of states. It offers an innovative theoretical framework for the study of international peacebuilding while applying it to a masterful analysis of the case of Kosovo.”
Marc Weller, Professor of International Law and International Constitutional Studies, University of Cambridge, UK.
“Kosovo was the poster child of international intervention. It was a ‘good war’ against tyrannical dictatorship and afterwards was lavished with international peacebuilding assistance. Fifteen years on, Gëzim Visoka unpacks the story of precarious peacebuilding in Kosovo. This incisive and timely analysis is theoretically and conceptually innovative, and punctures the myth of peacebuilding ‘strategy’. Visoka explores the fluid and unfinished nature of peacebuilding, and contends that bottom-up community initiatives have the capacity to change on the ground conditions. This book is a rapier-like critique of failed peacebuilding and will be on my reading lists.”
Roger Mac Ginty, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Manchester, UK.