And the Dominant Cleavage Is … Democracy, Nationalism, and the Triumph of the Security Syntheses
In this chapter, I examine the efforts of the international administration to establish a democratic multiethnic political system and to shape political cleavages in the post-conflict Kosova. Their limitless legal powers notwithstanding, the international administration failed in its primary task of shaping cross-cutting cleavages that could be conducive to the establishment of a meaningful multiethnic democratic system and the formation of a civic nation in Kosova. The fundamental mistake made by the international institutions was their failure to properly address the issue of the final status of Kosova, the most salient issue according to the security syntheses of the Albanians and the Serbs alike. The international administration substituted the model of a democratic system based on respect and the expectation of equal rights and duties of every citizen with a system squarely based on representative quotas for ethnic collectivities. This categorization from above encouraged and sanctioned the emergence, the consolidation, and the intense salience of ethnic cleavage that was squarely and indisputably based on the security synthesis. The Serbs perceived these actions as giving in to the Albanians. The efforts of the international administration were widely perceived to be just efforts aimed at forcing the Albanians to accept some modus vivendi with the Serbian state, any settlement that would fall short of independence. This perception provoked, as I show here, a strong counter-reaction. The end result of this clash in priorities has been a dramatic increase in support for nationalist movements and political parties that have definitely torn Kosova society apart along the ethnic lines.
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