This summer I have the privilege of interning with Democracy for Development (D4D), a non-governmental organization based and working in Pristina, Kosovo. D4D aims to shape public policy through its various publications, public outreach initiatives and general advocacy to promote equitable socioeconomic development, strengthen governance and bolster democratic institutions in Kosovo. Over the course of my internship my primary responsibility is to research, write and hopefully publish a policy paper that will assist D4D in its work.
The bulk of my paper will look at United States foreign policy in Kosovo with an emphasis on the period spanning 1990 through 2020. By looking at the progression of U.S. foreign policy under previous administrations and assessing the efficacy of past approaches, my goal is to advocate for a specific foreign policy scheme the Biden administration should adopt that will prove most effective in achieving the robust democracy in Kosovo that D4D envisions.
Up to this point I have uncovered several interesting insights and developed a working thesis. Despite a diverse catalogue of U.S. foreign policy doctrines under past administrations, some more effective than others, I plan to argue that changed regional circumstances and evolving U.S. interests require that President Biden adopt a novel foreign policy approach in the Balkans generally and Kosovo specifically. Given recent elections in Kosovo, the continuing fragility of its democratic institutions, and increased activity in the region by international foes like China, Russia and Turkey, the U.S. must take an active role. Several interesting legal issues are at play, too, which I plan to address such as the contested legality of Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence and Kosovo membership in international organizations like the United Nations.
I hoped to be writing my first blog post from Kosovo’s beautiful capital city Pristina, perhaps from a coffee shop or restaurant outside D4D’s office. Despite my internship being forced online by continued concerns with the COVID-19 virus, I remain incredibly excited by this opportunity and the work I am doing with D4D. For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by the stakes involved in issues of international importance and eager to engage in work crossing national boundaries, and my internship with D4D allows me to do just that. I look forward to keeping everyone apprised of the progress of my paper as well as any other work I complete that helps D4D carry out its important mission.