Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Kosova/Kosovo's contemporary context

[Originally published on Kosova/Kosovo: cultural heritage and community on 12th October 2005; I removed that "front page" to the site photo blogs, and imported this here, sticking it on 20th October 2005 to stay with the Kosovo fieldwork notes.]

Kosovo's contemporary context:

Kosovo is still disadvantaged in many respects: more than 60% of its inhabitants are unemployed; more than 50% live in poverty; water and electricity supplies are still unreliable; and mafia and paramilitaries operate with relative impunity.

Conditions fall far short of human rights standards - indeed, so far short that, under the UN's "standards before status" policy, adopted to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, Kosovo's final status cannot be decided upon. The mass of the population does not have the power to control the mafia or paramilitaries and the support those organisations do receive is largely, if not entirely, a product of uncertainty and insecurity.

In this predicament, in a complex mixture of cynical political exploitation and simple criminal opportunism, there has been an upsurge in political violence, both by members of one local community against another and by members of one local community against the international community; the Albanians and the minorities aligned with them fear the return of Serbian rule and the Serbs and the minorities aligned with them fear the lack of it, as, for the past twenty years, the extremists from the dominant community have acted with relative impunity.


  1. This is a pretty good summery about Kosovo and its history-Probably the best summery I seen so far. Great job

  2. “The separatism theme is played differently by Moscow in different contexts: Russia brutally burns out separatism in Chechnya, but it endorses the efforts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to break away from pro-NATO Georgia, as well as those of Moldova's breakaway region of Trans-Dniestria. Russia uses these separatist entities to turn up heat on Georgia and Moldova, and the separatist movements in all three demand Russian recognition, and subsequent incorporation into Russia. Hence, Moscow's headache: Should it go along with the Ahtisaari plan, it must insist that the same approach be applied to Russian allies, lest it loses face both with them and with its own increasingly nationalist population. But should Russia derail the Ahtisaari plan on grounds of opposing separatism, it has to find a better rationale to encourage its own separatist clientele.”

    You may read full article from “TIME”,8599,1624851,00.html

  3. I'm afraid when I first found the comments to moderate, I found criticisms to answer and mistakes to correct, panicked, and forgot to say thank you. So, thank you! I still check up on your blog occasionally to try to keep up with Kosovan stuff, but unfortunately, I'm years out of date.