This summer I am fortunate to be working with Democracy for Development (D4D), a non-profit civil society organization based in Pristina, Kosovo. Though zoom calls and remote correspondence are no replacement for living in Pristina, I remain very thankful for the opportunity with D4D.
My assignment for the summer is to write a policy paper about Kosovo’s recognition campaign. While Kosovo is recognized as an independent state by over 100 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and much of Europe, it is not yet a member of the United Nations or European Union. A small but powerful group of countries – Serbia, Russia and China – oppose Kosovo’s independence and have been conducting a coordinated de-recognition campaign since Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008. My goal is to delve into the policy behind these competing efforts and hopefully come out with some insights.
My first few weeks of work were dominated by research, which I found extremely rewarding. William & Mary provides access to an incredible number of publications, which has allowed me to explore all aspects of the subject. Having known little about Kosovo prior to this summer, I have been able to read extensively about the long and fraught history of Kosovo’s role in the Balkans, as well as the global geopolitics that make the current dispute with Serbia such a complex and polarizing issue.
One aspect of this project that makes it even more interesting is the ever-developing headlines. It was recently announced that the President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, has been indicted for war crimes related to his position in the Kosovo Liberation Army in the 1990s. The timing of the indictments was significant, as Thaci was scheduled to meet with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic at the White House on June 27. The summit has since fallen through, with the EU offering to hold talks in Paris in the near future. If progress is made in these negotiations – and there has been talk of Kosovo completely lifting its tariffs imposed on Serbia – it will factor into my paper, so I’m keeping a close eye on this storyline.
That’s all for now, I will make sure to check back in with another update as my project progresses.