18. Edward Newman and Gëzim Visoka (2018), ‘The Foreign Policy of State Recognition: Kosovo’s Diplomatic Strategy to Join International Society’, Foreign Policy Analysis, 14(3): 367-387.
This article explores the policies and activities undertaken by Kosovo as it seeks diplomatic recognition under conditions of contested statehood and transitional international order. Existing debates about diplomatic recognition – in particular, how independent sovereign statehood is achieved – generally rest upon systemic factors, normative institutions, and the preferences of great powers. In contrast, we argue that the experience of Kosovo presents a more complex and less pre-determined process of international recognition, in which the agency of fledgling states, diplomatic skill, timing and even chance may play a far more important role in mobilising international support for recognition than is generally acknowledged. In building this argument we explore Kosovo’s path to contested independence and examine the complex process of diplomatic recognition, as well as highlight the hybrid justifications for recognising Kosovo’s statehood and independence. Without downplaying the importance of systemic factors, this article contributes to a critical rethinking of norms and processes relating to state recognition in international affairs, which has implications for a broader range of cases.