Unravelling Liberal Interventionism: Local Critiques of Statebuilding in Kosovo, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Unravelling Liberal Interventionism

Local Critiques of Statebuilding in Kosovo, 1st Edition

Edited by Gëzim Visoka, Vjosa Musliu


186 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-04-11
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Despite calls for the decolonisation of knowledge, scholars who come from conflict-affected societies remained marginalised, excluded from the examination of the politics and impacts of liberal interventionism. This edited volume gives local scholars a platform from which they critically examine different aspects of liberal interventionism and statebuilding in Kosovo.

Drawing on situational epistemologies and grounded approaches, the chapters in this book interrogate a wide range of themes, including: the politics of local resistance; the uneven relationship between international statebuilders and local subjects; faking of local ownership of security sector reform and the rule of law; heuristic and practical limits of interventionism, as well as the subjugated voices in statebuilding process, such as minorities and women. The book finds that the local is not antidote to the liberal, and that local perspectives are not monolithic. Yet, local critiques of statebuilding do not seek to generate replicable knowledge; rather they prefer generating situational and context-specific knowledge be that to resolve problems or uncover the unresolved problems. The book seeks to contribute to critical peace and conflict studies by (re)turning the local turn to local scholars who come from conflict-affected societies and who have themselves experienced the transition from war to peace. 

This book is essential reading for students and scholars of peace- and state-building, conflict studies and international relations.


"A superb collection on Kosovo’s statebuilding process written by a distinguished group of local scholars. This book is a staunch contribution to understanding the challenges that underpin contemporary efforts for building peace and creating states after violent conflict. A must-read for scholars and practitioners of international relations alike." - Atifete Jahjaga, President of the Republic of Kosovo (2011-2016)

"A rare and valuable study by a group of Kosovar scholars that argues that local actors are not passive targets but critical agents of legitimation and success of international peacebuilding efforts. A timely contribution to the literature on peacebuilding that also strengthens the emerging field of Non-Western and Global IR." - Prof. Amitav Acharya, American University, USA

"Taking its prompt from postcolonial challenges critiques of Eurocentrism in International Relations theory, this book insightfully reassesses the local dimensions and meanings of intervention. It does so, however, by addressing Europe’s intimate other – Kosovo. The editors have curated a wide-ranging and edifying set of contributions that turn the postcolonial critique towards Europe’s own borderlands. As such, this book marks a crucial contribution to - and innovation in – debates surrounding intervention and statebuilding." - Prof. Robbie Shilliam, John Hopkins University, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Local Critiques of Intervention and Statebuilding

Vjosa Musliu and Gëzim Visoka

2. International Statebuilding and Local Resistance in Kosovo

Gëzim Visoka

3. From Kosovo with Hospitality: Rethinking Hospitality Beyond Westphalia

Vjosa Musliu

4. The Hyperreality of Enlargement: A Baudrillardian Critique of the European Union in Kosovo

Krenar Gashi

5. Local Inclusion or Exclusion? Security Sector Development in Kosovo

Florian Qehaja

6. Making the Law, Ruling the Law: International Statebuilding and the Rule of Law in Kosovo

Dafina Buçaj

7. The Local Voices and Agency in Statebuilding: A Life Story Perspective

Arlinda Rrustemi

8. Voices of the Serb Minority in the Assembly of Kosovo

Jelena Lončar

9. Inside-Out and Outside-In on Dealing with the Past in Kosovo: Actors, Voices, and Practices

Nita Luci and Linda Gusia

10. The Subaltern of the Local: The Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Women and Statebuilding in Kosovo

Sakibe Jashari

11. The Politics of Citizenship, Social Policy, and Statebuilding in Kosovo

Artan Mustafa

12. Conclusion: After Local Critiques

Gëzim Visoka and Vjosa Musliu

About the Editors

Gëzim Visoka is Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Dublin City University, Ireland.

Vjosa Musliu is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Free University of Brussels (VUB), Belgium.

About the Series

Worlding Beyond the West

Historically, the International Relations (IR) discipline has established its boundaries, issues, and theories based upon Western experience and traditions of thought. This series explores the role of geocultural factors, institutions, and academic practices in creating the concepts, epistemologies, and methodologies through which IR knowledge is produced. This entails identifying alternatives for thinking about the "international" that are more in tune with local concerns and traditions outside the West. But it also implies provincializing Western IR and empirically studying the practice of producing IR knowledge at multiple sites within the so-called ‘West’.

We welcome book proposals in areas such as:

  • Critiques of Western-centric scholarship and policy-making.
  • The emergence of new theories and approaches from ‘the periphery’.
  • The challenges for the discipline at large in accommodating its post-Western phase, and the political and ethical dilemmas involved in this.
  • Concrete studies of the results of approaching issues and agendas in ‘the periphery’ with the tools offered by core thinking.
  • Work by scholars from the non-West about local, national, regional or global issues, reflecting on the importance of different perspectives and of geocultural epistemologies.
  • Studies of ‘travelling theory’ – how approaches, concepts and theories get modified, re-casted and translated in different contexts.
  • The meaning and evolution of major concepts in particular regions, such as security thinking, concepts of globalisation and power, understandings of ‘economy’ and ‘development’ or other key categories in particular regions.
  • The sociology of the discipline in different places – with a focus on a country, a region, on specific research communities/schools, subfields, or on specific institutions such as academic associations, journals, foundations or think tanks.
  • Empirical studies of epistemic practices and the conditions of knowledge production in different Western and non-Western locales and sites.
  • Studies of the interaction between different knowledge producers, such as processes of expertise or the dialogue between intellectuals, academics, bureaucrats and policy elites.

Series Editors: Arlene B. Tickner, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, David Blaney, Macalester College, USA and Inanna Hamati-Ataya, University of Cambridge, UK

Founding Editor: Ole Wæver, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General