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Just war to just peace? Kosovo five years on

Alice, Lynne
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Paper presented at “New Frontiers in Restorative Justice: Advancing Theory and Practice”, Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University at Albany, New Zealand, 2-5 December.

The debatable legality of NATO’s intervention in Kosovo continues to sit uneasily with the aspirations of Kosovar Albanians to establish a homeland independent of Serbia and unwarranted interference by international interests. The violence that erupted on March 17th 2004, indicates how volatile is the politically charged environment in which democracy has been imposed with insufficient reference to the cultural specifics of Kosovo’s complexly pluralist and liberal Islamic citizenry. The many-sided contestation of democracy and self-determination is evident in the Kosovo’s prime minister’s ultimatum to UN on April 19th, that Serbia’s ex-province will seek to secede in September 2005 if the United Nations has not made substantial progress on the province’s future by then. In this paper the implications of the just war approach that arguably shaped the 1999 intervention, are examined against the uneven progress towards ‘final status’ and a ‘just peace’. It is argued that models used to forge peace in Kosovo are largely unconvincing in the face of the legacy of prolonged conflict and trauma. The hope of a just peace rests in supporting indigenous moves towards restoration and reconciliation while not ignoring the discursive and political power of retribution. Abstract courtesy of the Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University,


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