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Acteurs locaux et acteurs internationaux dans la construction de l’État : Une approche interactionniste du cas du Kosovo

Abstract : How can international actors build legitimate institutions following intra-state conflict? In other words, what factors determine the outcome of post-conflict statebuilding? On the one hand, the dominant approach, termed "technical", argues that significant resources (financial, human and political) allow international actors to build the required institutions. In Kosovo, international actors have established an international administration with executive powers, extending and sustaining resources throughout process. However, the success of statebuilding generally is mixed. On the other hand, the so-called "liberal peace" paradigm affirms that liberalization (political and economic) is a contributing factor to the limited success of post-conflict operations because it is either misapplied, illegitimate or even dangerous for societies emerging from violent conflicts. The liberal peace approach neglects these facts and ignores variations in international intentions. It is based, as is the technical approach, on an implicit (erroneous) assumption of an asymmetry in power relationships in favor of international actors. The result is that, these approaches fail to acknowledge the possibility of local actors resisting international standards and objectives.To explain variations in the success of statebuilding, we present an alternative theoretical model where a multi-level, sequential approach is modeled to a two-level game. Our thesis is as follows: variations in the statebuilding success are the function of strategic interactions, themselves determined by changes both in preferences and the power relationships between international actors and domestic political elites. Statebuilding is seen here as an interactive process, potentially linking three key actors who dominate any post-conflict political landscape. In unique conditions, no statebuilding process or international reforms need pose a threat to the political power of local elites - power derived from two pillars, i.e. nationalism and informal practices. Rather, international actors mobilise sufficient resources to induce local elites to adopt and implement the desired reforms.However, the preferences of the actors are very rarely aligned. In the case of Kosovo, it has been shown that international statebuilding has been instrumentalized and undermined by divergent and contradictory preferences among key actors. The international actors’ desire was to create a democratic and multinational state, but they opted for stability instead because they had to deal with local political elites - Kosovar-Albanian and Kosovar-Serb. The latter were concerned about maintaining their power over, and domination of, their group over others as well as maintaining leadership within their own group. This has led to a multiplication of authorities and a fragmentation of legitimacy: two distinct political and social systems persist, preventing the development of a cohesive and multinational state. While EU intervention has brought about a game change and helped to calm the situation on the ground, tensions persist, reaffirming the compromise that has taken place.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 1:16:40 PM
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Ardijan Sainovic. Acteurs locaux et acteurs internationaux dans la construction de l’État : Une approche interactionniste du cas du Kosovo. Science politique. Université de Bordeaux, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017BORD0765⟩. ⟨tel-02965589⟩

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