LAW 5621: State Building and the Law: The Kosovo Experience - 2181

State Building and the Law: The Kosovo Experience
Class Term:
Fall Term 2017-2018
Catalog Number:
Class Number:
Class Schedule:
Monday, Wednesday
4:30 pm
6:20 pm
2 (2 Contact, 0 Field)
Graduation Requirements:
International / Comparative
General Enrollment Course
Full Year Course:
Standard Courses

Additional Information

This course will be taught during the first seven (7) weeks of the fall semester, so will be a condensed, intensive course. The class will meet twice a week for 2 hours each class period, beginning the week of August 28-September 1, and ending the week of October 16-20.
The 24 hour take-home exam will be given on a single date to be determined by the Professor in consultation with the class, approximately one week after the final class period.

Grading Details

The course grade will be based on a take-home examination given at the end of the course.


Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been increasingly involved in interventionary state building operations, including Kosovo. These political-military interventions have often been termed “nation-building”, as the United States has been grappling with the challenges of stabilizing and reconstructing post-conflict states. Is it possible to establish the conditions for legitimate and sustainable national governance through a period of international administration? What does the case of Kosovo teach us with respect to creation of states and state-building processes? This course will explore the theory of ‘state-building’ and the emergence of the independent and sovereign state of Kosovo, by analyzing this sui generis case from a legal perspective, including the historical context (from autonomy to ethnic cleansing, war crimes, crimes against humanity and attempted genocide), the interim period of international governance, the final status process and the declaration of independence. It will further explore state-building steps undertaken by the youngest nation in Europe to draft, adopt and implement its Constitution, adopt its state symbols, establish the necessary agencies for its functioning as a state, and other steps undertaken to further establish and strengthen its statehood through its international relations and internal developments. Kosovo’s steps towards its Euro-Atlantic integration as well as efforts to complete its international recognition and membership in international organizations will further be elaborated. In addition, the course will look at the specific role of the international community in Kosovo, and in particular the role of the United States.

State Building and the Law: The Kosovo Experience