In brief: Takes on Kosovo’s policy challenges

The Kosovo Foundation for Open Society is proud to present the booklet “In brief: Takes on Kosovo’s policy challenges”, a new collection of opinion pieces about Kosovo and the region published by researchers and policy analysts in influential European media.

The result of a year long effort, this brochure, edited by Lura Limani and Ioannis Armakolas, is a companion publication to the edited volume Local and international determinants of Kosovo’s statehood (KFOS, 2019), available as a printed and electronic book.

The brochure is also one of the core outputs of “the Building Knowledge about Kosovo,” a project launched by the Foundation in 2016 with the aim of creating a network of young academics and policy analysts whose work focuses on Kosovo and the wider region.

In the immediate aftermath of the Kosovo war, and with the establishment of a UN protectorate, Kosovo became an attractive topic for policy analysts, academics, diplomats and journalists. The interest of academics and laypeople alike was piqued once again when Kosovo declared independence in 2008, sparking another wave of writings and research on its state-building efforts.

But more than ten years after Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the challenges that this post-war society faces are less appealing to academics and journalists, and ‘the Kosovo question’, which dogged the international policy circles in the beginning of the 21st century, has markedly lost its relevance.

Nevertheless the question remains. Kosovo’s state-building effort still face multiple challenges domestically and internationally, presenting both an interesting area of research as well as an actual political conundrum demanding the attention of policymakers.

Since the Thessaloniki Summit of 2003, Kosovo’s development efforts have been geared towards European integration and fulfilling benchmarks defined by the European Commission’s conditionality and annual country reports. Yet, Kosovo’s EU prospects remains bleak: five member states of the European Union continue to not recognize Kosovo, as do two of its neighboring countries: Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Meanwhile, tensions between Kosovo and Serbia remain high, especially since the end of 2018, when the Brussels-mediated dialogue was suspended after Pristina introduced high tariffs on Serbian goods.

In such a complex political constellation, the project “Building Knowledge about Kosovo,” initiated and supported by the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society, was born in 2017. From the outset, the project aimed to bring together young researchers from the Western Balkans and the EU countries in order to create a platform for the production and exchange of knowledge about Kosovo. In its third year, the program continues to produce novel original research about Kosovo in various disciplines, as well as papers that can affect policy changes in Kosovo and the region. While the main output of the program has been two academic publications (State-building in Post-Independence Kosovo: Policy Challenges and Societal Considerations[2018]; Local and International Determinants of Kosovo’s Statehood [2019]), young researchers and policy analysts have also produced dozens of opinion pieces published by prominent international and regional media outlets.

The publication you have in front of you is a curated selection of some of the hard-hitting pieces that the second cohort of researchers produced throughout 2018 and 2019.

Read and download the entire volume here.

To read the edited volume of research papers produced by this cohort of researchers click here.

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