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Book Launch: State-Building in Kosovo - Democracy, Corruption and the EU in the Balkans



Monday, 11 May 2015


Canada Blanch room, 1st floor, Cowdray House, LSE


6:00 - 7:30 pm

Author/ Speaker

Dr Andrea Lorenzo Capussela


Dr James Ker-Lindsay, LSEE Research on SEE, London School of Economics

Book-coverThe West went to war for Kosovo, administered it for nine years, made it independent, supervised it for four years, and gave it unprecedented amounts of aid. The aim was to erect a stable and well-governed democracy. The outcome is a poor, ill-governed and still fragile state, threatening Europe’s internal security and the stability of the Balkans.

The question why the most ambitious state-building intervention ever attempted by the West has largely failed has not yet been posed. This book offers an answer that moves from the literature on state-building and economic development, draws on the author’s own experience, and takes the perspective of the interests of the EU.

Although Kosovo evokes ethnic conflict and territorial disputes, the origin of the threats it now poses to Europe’s interests lies in the defective quality of its democracy. Exploiting its weaknesses, a predatory elite could capture the new state and subvert its political and economic institutions, to entrench itself. Corruption, organized crime and election fraud are the most visible manifestations of the inefficient and unequal social order that has emerged, which is the root cause of such threats and has deepened Kosovo’s acute socio-economic problems, as the recent ‘exodus’ of its citizens attests.

The reasons for this outcome include the design flaws, policy mistakes and lack of accountability of the state-building missions deployed in Kosovo, the weakness of the European common foreign policy, divergences between the EU and the USA, and, above all, disregard for the democratic principle.

The paper that accompanies this book, containing part of the evidence used in Chapter 5, on the rule of law, is available here.





Listen to the event's podcast