The Political Economy of International Transitional Administration: Regulating Food and Farming in Kosovo and Iraq

Maj Grasten, Ntina Tzouvala

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This article reconstructs how democratic participation and interference can be fended off by the construction of an international authoritarian political architecture and a strongly legalised and specific form of market economy. We do this by interrogating International Territorial Administration (ITA) regulations established to administer post-conflict Kosovo and post-invasion Iraq. In following the regulations and executive decrees of a largely unaccountable international policy-making bureaucracy in reforming the agricultural sector, the article demonstrates how and with what impact an authoritarian-liberal approach to economic reform materialised in the agricultural sectors of post-conflict Kosovo and Iraq. The regulation of land reform and patent law in turn served in these cases to establish distributional outcomes in favour of large-scale agricultural interests and multinational corporations. Even though the two administrations focused on different aspects of land and agriculture regulation, we argue that significant commonalities exist between their political preferences and interests. Our work draws on the tradition of critical legal studies in International Law (IL) and we posit that by drawing on this tradition, scholarship on post-conflict international territorial administration is better able to capture the long-term ramifications of international intervention.
TidsskriftContemporary Politics
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)588–606
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 2018

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 28. March 2018


  • International law
  • Political economy
  • International transitional administration (ITA)
  • Agriculture
  • Kosovo
  • Iraq