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PSRP Researcher Presenting: Competing Discourses of Decentralization and Inclusion in Kosovo
July 16, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am
PSRP researcher Laura Wise is presenting a paper as part of the workshop ‘Fissures on the edges: Central & South Eastern Europe and European crises’, July 15-16 at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz. The workshop is organised by the UACES Collaborative Research Network ‘Centrifugal Europe: State, Sovereignty and the future of European integration’, the Centre for Southeast European Studies at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, and Queen’s University Belfast. The workshop is free and open to attend.
Laura’s presentation is supported by the Edinburgh Law School Early Career Researchers Fund.
“It is decided in Brussels for our wishes”: Competing Discourses of Decentralization and Inclusion in Kosovo
Decentralization as a form of territorial power-sharing and intra-group conflict management has been provided for by peace agreements and political settlement frameworks across many cases worldwide. A prominent debate on the subject is the tension between integration of minority groups through the allocation of power to the local level, and the risks such inclusive governance poses to the unitary stability of the state. Whilst international interveners often construct decentralization as a positive way of managing ethnic diversity, and consent of minority groups is needed to implement such institutional structures, few studies examine how decentralization efforts are perceived by members of the communities it pertains to include.
This paper compares public discourses of decentralization in Kosovo at the international, national, and local levels. It traces prominent narratives from the first introduction of ethno-territorial decentralization in the 2004 Kai Eide report, to the ongoing implementation attempts of the 2013 so-called Brussels Agreement. Using qualitative coding analysis of minority focus group discussions, majority public statements, and documentary analysis, it interrogates assumptions about inclusion through decentralized institutions and minority consent. The paper argues that the fluctuating discursive gap in Kosovo raises challenges for approaches to inclusive political settlements and decentralization mechanisms in post-conflict contexts.
Workshop Programme [PDF]
Photo credit: novosti.rs