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Kosovo: the path to contested statehood in the Balkans

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James Ker-Lindsay
I B Tauris (May 2009)

Cover of Kosovo: the path to contested statehood in the BalkansIn February 2008, Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. Was this the final chapter in the break up of Yugoslavia and the successful conclusion to the Balkan Wars of the 1990s? Or was it just one more wrong turn in the path to stability in the Balkans which has set a dangerous precedent for regional conflict throughout the world?

When the UN Security Council authorised negotiations to determine the final status of Kosovo in October 2005, most observers confidently expected the Serbian province to become an independent state by the end of the following year. However, the process did not go as planned. Kosovo: the path to contested statehood in the Balkans charts the course of the status process from 2005 to the present and analyses how and why it went so very wrong. This clear and perceptive account will be essential reading for anyone with an interest in the recent history of the Balkans or in international conflict resolution.

Dr James Ker-Lindsay is senior research fellow at the Hellenic Observatory, European Institute, LSE.


'A most impressive work. The argument and analysis are first-class. For those who want to understand how the West, and the UK/US in particular, got into this latest painful Balkan mess, this book provides an indispensable vade mecum.'
Sir Ivor Roberts, president of Trinity College, Oxford and former British Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

'This excellent book, appearing so soon after some of the events it describes occurred, is the first history of the mess surrounding the international handling of Kosovo, and it will remain a reference point. It shows genuine understanding of all perspectives, while not shying from the realities that things might have been otherwise - a point the author makes with acute judgement. It is a welcome and essential addition to the literature on Yugoslavia's breakup.'
James Gow, professor of International Peace and Security, Department of War Studies, King's College London