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Statehood without Sovereignty: Risky Negotiations in Post-independence Kosovo

Since the Dayton Agreement (1995) all the countries belonging to the “Western Balkan’s basket” have been subjugated to the unified Western  political and economic “tool-kit” advancing the prospects of democracy, market-economy and multiculturalism. Lumping together the regional societies, it has facilitated an EU policy-making and a regional research agenda that mutes the cultural, historical, political and economic traits of the local societies and current state institutions. In an attempt to amend the conceptual silence and speak the domestic voices, this talk will present an overview of the negotiation process between Kosovo and Serbia as situated in the context of Kosovo’s supervised statehood. But, while opposing the institutional mindset, this presentation will embrace a bottom-up approach of exploring the local contention, focusing on the emergent contentious discourses and practices (2010-2013). While the EU state-builders and the local politicians present the negotiations as crucial to “the normalization process of the regional relations”, I will argue that the domestic contenders frame them as “imposed and risky”, because they undermine Kosovo’s sovereignty.
Dr. Alma Vardari-Kesler has been awarded the Israeli Fulbright Post-doctoral Fellowship and during the current academic year (2014-2015), she is a visiting scholar at Stanford University. She has completed her doctoral studies in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, at Tel-Aviv University. Her PhD dissertation explores the post-socialist transformations with a focus on the emerging discourses and action strategies of social movements in the context of the international state-building, case-study being Kosovo. Vardari-Kesler was born in Albania and has been in Israel since 1991. She has been teaching in Israel and abroad courses on contention politics, social theories and Balkan politics. Her research portfolio includes also the sociology of state-building and post-communist societies in Eastern Europe, topics on which she has authored several articles. Vardari-Kesler has also been the Project Director at the Centre for the Study of European Politics and Societies (CSEPS) since 2008 and a visiting lecturer at the Department of Politics and Government at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev since 2009. 



Friday, April 3, 2015. 12:00 PM


Encina Hall West, Room 208


CREEES Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies




Open to Stanford affiliates. RSVP requested.