6. Gëzim Visoka (2012), ‘The ‘Kafkaesque Accountability’ of International Governance in Kosovo’, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 6(2): 189-212.
This article explores the institutionalized and legalized forms of ‘unaccountability’ evident during the United Nation’s protracted and extensive administration of Kosovo, which were implemented to protect the UN from liability in case the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo was accused of human rights violations in Kosovo. Two mechanisms were put in place to review the accountability of international governance in Kosovo: the Ombudsperson Institution and later the Human Rights Advisory Panel. This article highlights how the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo systematically restricted and obstructed the operation of these mechanisms, by constraining the space for the independent and meaningful investigation of cases, by invoking immunity safeguards, and by failing to cooperate and remedy human rights abuses caused by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. This article argues that avoiding accountability for human rights abuses can seriously undermine the legitimacy of UN peacekeeping missions, establishing negative practices and losing the trust of the local population, which ultimately encourages undemocratic practices among weak and fragile local institutions. At the global level, any attempt to take on greater international responsibility without accountability harms the prospects for establishing global institutions structured around the principles of democratic governance.