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‘We are not asking you to hug each other, but we ask you to co-exist':1 the Kosovo assembly and the politics of co-existence

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This article examines the role of parliament in the promotion of co-existence in post-war Kosovo. The vast majority of Kosovans are ethnic Albanians who aspire to independence; Serbs constitute the largest minority and are opposed to independence so Kosovo's politics are deeply divided. It considers Kosovo's social divisions, the political consequences thereof and the institutional measures put in place by the United Nations to try and moderate the influence of the divisions in the legislative process. The principles and objectives underpinning the Assembly, including those derived from Yugoslav constitutional history, are explored via the problem of ‘constitutional nationalism' and its consequences. The Assembly has a range of complex procedures that are designed to promote the protection of minority rights and encourage power-sharing between the various communities. The article examines their operation and effectiveness in a political context of deep mistrust and, as the events of March 2004 demonstrated, continued violence.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-03-01

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