5. Gëzim Visoka (2011), ‘International Governance and Local Resistance in Kosovo: The Thin Line between Ethical, Emancipatory and Exclusionary Politics’, Irish Studies in International Affairs, 22(1): 99-125.
This paper examines the emergence and implications of local resistance against the practice of liberal peace-building in post-conflict Kosovo, as pursued by the international community and local authorities. Exploring the prospects and limitations of local resistance, as articulated through social movements and institutionalised forms of politics, enables us to examine the applicability and potential implications of post-liberal and emancipatory peace, approaches recently propogated by critical approaches to peace-building. Drawing on an original analysis of the discourse and affirmative action of local resistance against the international governance of Kosovo, this paper will argue that different types of local resistance articulate a thin line between ethical, emancipatory and exclusionary practices. Due to the inherent contradictions of resistance movements, the challenges associated with local ownership, grassroots democratisation, and the emancipation and empowerment of local agency cannot be resolved entirely. Indeed, there is a persistent danger that subalterns articulate their needs and interests not only according to an acceptable public transcript for the group’s inner dynamics, but also in relation to the dominant authority, whether it is local or international. This paper illustrates that where there is power there will be resistance, and where there is resistance there will be exclusion and further subordination.