State Building and the Law: The Kosovo Experience

Course Catalog Number:
Course Credits:
Course Type:
Course Priority:
General Enrollment Course
Graduation Requirements:
International / Comparative
Full Year Course:

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? 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.