Prospects for further Kosovan Statehood

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A short presentation, delivered as part of a 2nd year undergraduate module which sets out to answer the following:- EXAMINE THE PROSPECTS IN THE EARLY 21ST CENTURY FOR INDEPENDENCE OF A STATELESS NATION OF YOUR CHOICE, ESTABLISHING AND SUMMARISING, A. THE CONTEMPORARY CLAIMS OF SUCH ENTITIES, B. THE HISTORY OF THE STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE, C. THE RESISTANCE TO THEIR EMERGENCE AS INDEPENDENT STATES.

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  • In order to examine Kosovo’s prospects for further independence, first we must define what constitutes statehoodFor this, we decided to employ the legal definition as codifies in the Montevideo convention on the Rights and Duties of States as this allowed us to examine whether Kosovo fits the criteria mentioned above. GO THROUGH – Any fixed population is fine, the existence of microstates proves this (BBC News, 2013) and a territorially defined space originating from the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution where it gained the status of an autonomous province. However, power deriving from Pristina fails to exert itself fully across the province, particularly in Serb-dominated Northern Kosovo and it is not party to many international agreementsHowever, whilst doing this analysis, we felt that it was arbitrary, the fact that these are achieved does not necessarily guarantee statehood and quite frankly, inconclusiveAs such, we will focus on the constitutive theory of statehood – that recognition by other countries plays a key role in legitimizing claims to statehood
  • Anderson (1983) wrote of the nation as an imagined community.This form of nationalism permeates everyday life, reinforced by statues and symbols such as the Kosovan flag – featuring its geographical territory over a background of European Union Blue. It should be noted that the only other state that displays its borders on its flag is Cyprus, involved in its own border dispute National anthem telling called ‘Europe’Skanderbeg, national myth. Christian hero but Albanian warrior, highlights the secular nature of ethnic AlbaniansIn contrast, Serb nationalism is inherently related to the role of the Orthodox Church. The result…explains attachment to Kosovo that Albanian diaspora feels, even though they have been spread throughout the regionWhy is this important? Ethno-nationalist conflict has been common in Kosovo’s recent history. A few examples of these include.Moreover, the nationalist importance placed on territory means any ceding of land is seen as a great political, social and crucially national loss.
  • Said that independence for Kosovo is the only viable option because harsh realities on the ground - relations between the Albanian majority, which is mostly Muslim, and the Serbian minority, which is mostly Orthodox Christian, have reached the boiling point.They argue that denying or delaying independence risks a return to disorder and bloodshed -- and is therefore the greater of two evilsThe formal separation of Kosovo from Serbia instead offers the best hope for rebuilding moderation and tolerance among ethnic Albanians, making it far more likely that they will eventually live in peace with Serbs, Roma, and the other minority groups among them.Claims also stem from the 1980s when Kosovo was stripped of autonomy by President Milosevic, the leader of the Serbian Communist Party. Kosovo felt they were treated unfairly as the rights were stated in the 1974 constitution and thus don’t just want autonomy but independence instead so this will not occur
  • Prospects for further Kosovan Statehood

    1. 1. Kosovo Examine the prospects in the early 21st century for independence of a stateless nation of your choice, establishing and summarising, a. The contemporary claims of such entities, b. The history of the struggle for independence, c. The resistance to their emergence as independent states.
    2. 2. Outline Kosovo’s current status Contemporary claims for Kosovan statehood Brief history of independence struggles Resistance to independence Conclusion - sui generis?
    3. 3. Kosovo’s current status Unilaterally declared independence from Serbia on 17th February, 2008 90% of population are ethnic Albanians while 10% are Serbian International recognition by over half the countries of the world but not Russia, Spain, Cyprus – why? No place in significant multilateral institutions such as the UN, EU Progress in the 7 years since – qualified independence Poverty is pervasive – unemployment around 30% in 2012 Low FDI Youngest population in Europe – 53% under 25 (European Commission Liaison Office to Kosovo)
    4. 4. The Guardian, 2008
    5. 5. A permanent population Estimates suggest approx 1.8m with Serb boycott (BBC News) ✔ A defined territory Originating from 1974 Yugoslav Constitution ✔ Government Kosovan Assembly, but no authority in Northern areas ✗ The capacity to enter into relations with other states. Many diplomatic missions abroad, but not party to multilateral institutions and therefore international agreements ✗ What is statehood? Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933) states four criteria of statehood: Declaratory/Constitutive theory of statehood More relevant in this case The recognition of an entity as a state renders it to be so (Prince, 1988)
    6. 6. Role of Nationalism Anderson (1983) – the nation as an ‘imagined community’ Reinforced in every day life Flags, Anthems Serbian nationalism and the orthodox church Kosovo and Metohija – literally ‘Kosovo and Monastic Estates The result = value-laden, emotionally compelling images of history and hyperbolic country specific values Divided city of (Kosovska) Mitrovica.
    7. 7. Contemporary claims Only viable option? Relations between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in Serbia have reached boiling point Formal separation of Kosovo from Serbia - offers the best hope for rebuilding moderation and tolerance among ethnic Albanians Unfairly stripped of autonomy in 1980s by Milosevic, the leader of the Serbian Communist Party. Independence as the righting of many decades of oppression
    8. 8. Brief History Debate over the true history of Kosovo 14th Century – Kosovo under the rule of Ottoman Empire for 500 years Treaty of London 1913 – Serbia regain control of Kosovo 1918- Kosovo officially belongs to Kingdom of Serbia 1946 – Becomes part of Yugoslav federation 1974 - Yugoslav constitution recognises the autonomous status of Kosovo 1989 - Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic proceeds to strip rights of autonomy
    9. 9. Continued… Early 1990s – ‘Serbanisation’ of Kosovo 1990 July - Ethnic Albanian leaders declare independence from Serbia but Belgrade dissolves the Kosovo government 1992 - War breaks out in the Balkans. 1993-97 - Ethnic tension and armed unrest escalate Kosovan War NATO airstrikes
    10. 10. Resistance to Kosovan StatehoodSerbia Did not grant permission Birth place of Serbian nation? Northern Kosovo, a state within a state, within a state? Russia Any declaration of independence from Kosovo would be ‘illegal, ill-conceived and immoral’ – Putin Dangerous precedent Territorial integrity? China, Spain, Sri Lanka Not party to significant multilateral institutions UN, Russian and Chinese veto EU
    11. 11. Precedence – yes or no? Russia - no right to secession by a numerical minority within an established state An argument shared by Spain, Sri Lanka, Cyprus In contrast, the international community sees Kosovo as unique case Gunaratne (2008) – Kosovo is a unique case The result of a series of unparalleled events Dissolution of Yugoslavia, desperate to avoid Bosnia External actor involvement unlikely in other cases Scottish independence is seen as a debate firmly to be fought out between Westminster and Holyrood
    12. 12. Conclusion Prospects are good European Parliament resolution for faster integration Much more successful than other states declaring unilateral independence – TRNC ICJ found declaration of independence was not in violation of international law BUT – Significant hurdle of UN membership Even EU accession looks unlikely with 5 EU members still to acknowledge statehood (Vallely, 2008). Entrenchment of Kosovan nationhood within the mind of Kosovans Not just important what other states think, but equally what your own people think Qualified Independence What else can it do? – Independence does not and has not cure all ills. A grey zone in international politics
    13. 13. Thank you for listening.
    14. 14. Bibliography Anderson, B. R. O. (1991) Imagined communities. London: Verso. The Guardian (2008) Kosovo Independence [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2008/feb/15/kosovo BBC News. (2013) 'Kosovo profile' [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world- europe-18328866 [Accessed: 24 Feb 2014]. European Parliament. (2014) 'European Parliament resolution on the European integration process of Kosovo (2013/2881(RSP))' [online] Available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B7-2014- 0004&language=EN [Accessed: 25 Feb 2014]. European Commission Liaison Office to Kosovo (2013) [online] Available at http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/kosovo/documents/press_corner/education_for_the_future_e n.pdf Gunaratne, R. (2008) 'The History behind a Declaration of Independence: Kosovo and its impact on the World (first published in 2008)' Public International law. [online] Available at: http://ruwanthikagunaratne.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/the-history-behind-a-declaration-of- independence-kosovo-and-its-impact-on-the-world-first-published-in-2008/ [Accessed: 25 Feb 2014]. 'Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States. (1933) ' Council on Foreign Relations. [online] Available at: http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/montevideo-convention-rights- duties-states/p15897 [Accessed: 24 Feb 2014]. Prince, J. L. (1988). International Legal Implications of the November 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Statehood, The.

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