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Project: Kosovo and the International Community: Selective Indignation, Collective Intervention, and the Changing Contours of World Politics

Project Summary

The Kosovo crisis presents major challenges to the evolving international environment that, while still featuring a range of internal conflicts, is generally characterised by a noticeable decrease of interstate conflicts. An extension of the wider post-Cold War Balkan crises that had intermittently come to a halt with the Dayton Agreement of 1995, the current crisis in Kosovo has, like no other crisis, put into question the roles of the major actors of world politics. It has indeed raised questions about the major underlying principles of international order and global governance. The United Nations has been rendered virtually inoperable in a situation in which the Security Council members are split over geostrategic and normative dimensions of how to deal with Kosovo's relations with Serbia. Meanwhile, NATO, a military defence alliance, has decided to move out of its area to use military power to force a sovereign state into compliance with international humanitarian norms. In addition to large numbers of internally displaced persons, several hundred thousand refugees are threatening to destabilise an already fragile region. All this has been accompanied by as much a war of rhetoric (in media and political circles) as a war of arms. The conflict has the potential to redefine the relationship between regional security organisations and the United Nations, between major powers in East and West - and within those camps. It may also call into question the unipolar moment that has prevailed since the end of the Cold War.

The normative, operational and structural questions that are raised by the Kosovo crisis will have long-term consequences for the way in which we understand and interpret world politics. For instance, can the UN Security Council veto now effectively be circumvented to launch selective enforcement operations? How can the humanitarian imperative be reconciled with the principle of state sovereignty - are we witnessing the end to absolute principles in the international legal framework and, if so, at what cost? Under what conditions do such absolute principles lose their legitimacy? The UNUPG study offers interpretations of the Kosovo crisis from numerous perspectives: the conflicting parties, members of the NATO alliance, the immediate region surrounding the conflict, and from further afield. These country perspectives are followed by scholarly analyses of the normative, operational and structural consequences of the Kosovo crisis for world politics and the relationship between and among international organisations, regional organisations, state actors and individuals.

Albrecht Schnabel and Ramesh Thakur, both from UNU's Peace and Governance Programme, are directing a project entitled "Kosovo and the International Community: Selective Indignation, Collective Intervention, and the Changing Contours of World Politics." The contributors to the project will meet on 19-21 September 1999 at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, to present and discuss their contributions.

Project Outline

The project features the following chapters (working titles) and authors:


1. The Long-term Conceptual Challenges of Kosovo 1999
Dr. Albrecht Schnabel (Peace and Governance Programme, UNU)
Dr. Ramesh Thakur (Professor & Vice-Rector, UNU)

2. The Balkans in the Twentieth Century: A Historical Account
Dr. Marie-Janine Calic (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Ebenhausen, Germany)



3. Kosovo
Mr. Agon Demjaha, M.A. (Director, Centre for Civil Society Initiative, Prishtina, Kosovo, FRY)

4. Yugoslavia
Ms. Duska Anastasijevic, M.A., MPhil. (Ph.D. Candidate, Central European University, Hungary; Journalist, B-92 and Vreme, Belgrade, FRY)


5. The United States of America
Dr. G. John Ikenberry (Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA)

6. Russia
Dr. Vladimir Baranovsky (Deputy Director, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Moscow, Russia)

7. China
Dr. Zhang Yunling (Director, Institute on Asia-Pacific Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China)


8. The Major European Allies: Germany, France, United Kingdom TBA

9. Smaller NATO Members: Canada, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands
Dr. David Haglund (Professor and Director of the Centre for International Relations, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada)
Dr. Allen Sens (Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

10. The Northern Tier: Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland
Dr. Bjoern Moeller (Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Secretary-General of the International Peace Research Association)

11. The Southern Flank: Italy, Greece, Turkey
Dr. Georgios Kostakos (Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, Athens, Greece)

12. The New Entrants: Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary
Dr. László Valki (Professor, Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary) Dr. Peter Tálas (Institute of Strategic and Defence Studies, Budapest, Hungary)


13. Balkans and Transcaucasus
Dr. George Khutsishvili (Professor and DirectorInternational Centre on Conflict and Negotiation, Tbilisi, Georgia) Dr. Albrecht Schnabel (Peace and Governance Programme, UNU)

14. Islamic Countries
Dr. Ibrahim A. Karawan (Associate Professor, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA)

15. Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina)
Dr. Monica Serrano (El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico & Oxford University, Oxford, UK)

16. South Africa
Dr. Philip Nel (Professor, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa)

17. India
Lt. Gen. Satish Nambiar (First Force Commander, UNPROFOR; United Service Institution of India, New Delhi, India)


18. NATO: From Collective Defence to Peace Enforcement
Ms. Nicola Butler (The Acronym Institute, London, UK)

19. The Role of the United Nations in Kosovo
Dr. A.J.R. Groom (Professor, University of Kent, Canterbury, U.K.)
Dr. Paul Taylor (Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK)

20. The Concept of Humanitarian Intervention Revisited Dr. James Mayall (Professor, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK) and

21. The Concept of Sovereignty Revisited Dr. Alan M. James (Professor, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK)

22. Solidarity vs. Geostrategy: Kosovo and the Dilemmas of Democratic Culture Dr. Jean-Marc Coicaud (Peace and Governance Programme, UNU)

23. Historical Metaphors: Policy Shortcuts or Short-circuits? Dr. George C. Herring (Emeritus Professor, University of Kentucky, Lexington, U.S.A.)

24. The CNN Factor: Media Influence on Foreign Policy Decisionmaking Dr. Steven Livingston (Associate Professor, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.)

25. The NGO Factor: An Independent Voice for (Global) Civil Society? Ms. Felice Gaer (Director, Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, New York, U.S.A.)

26. Selective Indignation: Discriminating between Calls for Urgent International Action Dr. Lori Fisler Damrosch (Professor, Columbia University School of Law, New York, USA)

27. International Theory, European Politics and Changing Concepts of the Use of Force
Dr. Lawrence Freedman (Professor, King's College, London, UK)

28. Force, Diplomacy and International Negotiation: Complements or Saboteurs?
Dr. Coral Bell (ret'd Professor, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)


29. International Society, International Community, and International Citizenship
Dr. Andrew Linklater (Professor, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK)

30. Lessons Learned, Lessons Forgotten
Dr. Ramesh Thakur (UNU) and Dr. Albrecht Schnabel (UNU)


Kosovo and the Challenge of Humanitarian Intervention: Selective Indignation, Collective Action, and International Citizenship Kosovo and the Challenge of Humanitarian Intervention:
Selective Indignation, Collective Action, and International Citizenship

Edited byAlbrecht Schnabel and Ramesh Thakur