The Politics of Law in a Post-Conflict UN Protectorate: Privatisation and Property Rights in Kosovo (1999–2008)

Maj Grasten, Luca J. Uberti

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper investigates the design and implementation of Kosovo’s post-war privatisation regime with reference to the policy ideas developed and negotiated within the bounds of Kosovo’s international transitional administration (UNMIK). Drawing on constructivist analyses of institutional change, we rely on semi-structured interviews with international officials and a review of legal documents to argue that the process of institutional change was driven largely by a contest between conflicting legal norms, rather than a contest between politically organised interest-based groups. International legal experts mobilised various competing normative paradigms residing in the background of policy debates to persuade domestic political actors that privatisation was in their interest, and to legitimise or disqualify the proposed neoliberal privatisation programme. However, the lack of consensus on the background paradigm ushered in a protracted period of ideational contestation. Privatisation in post-war Kosovo was essentially about the ‘politics of law’, as the legalisation of privatisation policy led inevitably to the contentious politicisation of legal norms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Relations and Development
Volume20
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)162–189
Number of pages28
ISSN1408-6980
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Ideational contestation
  • Uncertainty
  • International administration
  • Kosovo
  • Law and development
  • Property rights

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