Conflict and Change in Kosovo: Impact on Institutions and Society

Authors: La Cava, G., Nanetti, R., Schwandner-Sievers, S., Gjonca, A., Nezam, T., Balaj, B., Salihu, A., Del Re, F. and Davis, D.

Publisher: The World Bank

Place of Publication: Washington, DC


This assessment examines how conflict and displacement in Kosovo over the last decade have affected its social relations and institutions. It covers a broad and complex set of issues that, taken together, form an overview of Kosovar society, as it has adapted to economic and political changes brought about by: a) the disintegration of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY); b) the enforcement period, when the majority Albanian population was excluded from public life; c) ethnically motivated violence and displacement; and, more recently, d) the return of the Albanian refugees, and establishment of an international administration. During the most recent phase, intra- and inter-ethnic violence has continued, with the remaining Kosovar Serb and other minority populations suffering from varying degrees of social exclusion. The premise of this study is that efforts to achieve stability and sustainable economic growth in Kosovo depend on the creation of inclusive institutions that promote intra-community cohesion, and interethnic reconciliation. The related concepts of social cohesion, social capital, and reconciliation are central to the analysis. The report assesses the presence in Kosovo of two kinds of social capital-bonding and bridging-and the implications of each for promoting social cohesion and managing conflict within, and among Kosovo's various ethnic groups. The assessment focuses on the potential in Kosovo for developing bridging social capital as a precondition for the emergence of linking social capital, which is implicit in state institutions that are inclusive and empowering, that foster participation in, and transparency of the decision-making process, and that therefore enable the cooperative engagement of all groups in building a peaceful society. The development of linking social capital in Kosovo is not, however, specifically evaluated in this report due to the rapidly evolving nature of state institutions. The analysis progresses from the macro to the micro level-from formal to informal institutions, to families and individuals-to capture a variety of perspectives on the process of social and institutional change in Kosovo.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers