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State-Building and the Law: The Kosovo Experience

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General Enrollment Course
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Course Description

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? 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 and crimes against humanity), 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 the world 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. In addition, it will look at the specific role of the international community in Kosovo, and in particular the role of the United States.