'The Oxford Handbook of Peacebuilding, Statebuilding and Peace Formation' (Oxford University Press, 2020) (with Oliver P. Richmond).

'The Routledge Handbook of State Recognition' (Routledge, 2019) (with John Doyle and Edward Newman).

The Routledge Handbook of State Recognition is the first comprehensive and multidisciplinary companion to theoretical, comparative, and empirical aspects underpinning the recognition of states in international relations, international law, comparative politics, and international political theory. Although the recognition of states plays a central role in shaping global politics, it remains an under-researched and widely-dispersed subject. Coherently and innovatively structured, this handbook brings together world-renowned scholars that examine the most important theoretical and comparative perspectives on state recognition, core pathways to secession and self-determination, broad range of actors and strategies that shape the recognition of states, and a significant number of contemporary case studies. The handbook is organised into five key sections:

Section 1: Theoretical and Conceptual Perspectives

Section 2: Pathways to Secession and Independence

Section 3: Actors and Forms of State Recognition

Section 4: Diplomatic Practices of State Recognition

Section 5: Cases Studies of Contemporary State Recognition

This new Handbook will be essential reading for students, scholars, and professionals in the fields of foreign policy, international relations, international law, comparative politics, and area studies.


'Acting Like a State: Kosovo and the Everyday Making of Statehood' (Routledge, 2018).

How do emerging states obtain international recognition and secure membership of international organisations in contemporary world politics? This book provides the first in-depth study of Kosovo’s diplomatic approach to becoming a sovereign state by obtaining international recognition and securing membership of international organisations. Analysing the everyday diplomatic discourses, performances, and entanglements, this book contends that state-becoming is not wholly determined by systemic factors, normative institutions, or the preferences of great powers; the diplomatic agency of the fledgling state plays a far more important role than is generally acknowledged. Drawing on institutional ethnographic research and first-hand observations, this book argues that Kosovo’s diplomatic success in consolidating its sovereign statehood - namely obtaining bilateral recognition and securing membership of international organisations - has been the situational assemblage of multiple discourses, practiced through a broad variety of performative actions, and shaped by a complex entanglement with global assemblages of norms, actors, relations, and events. Accordingly, this book contributes to expanding our understanding of the diplomatic agency of emerging states and the changing norms, politics, and practices regarding the diplomatic recognition of states and their admission to international society.

Routledge series: Interventions.

"This timely study captures the discourse and practice of Kosovo’s foreign policy during its critical first decade of independent statehood. Gëzim Visoka’s detailed and insightful analysis offers a masterful account of the contemporary challenges facing new states in the international system"Enver Hoxhaj, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo.

"In this engaging and timely book Gëzim Visoka shines much needed new light on the contested process of international recognition. Through an empirically rich analysis of Kosovo’s diplomatic discourses, practices and entanglements, Visoka addresses crucial questions around how emerging states seek to carve out a meaningful existence within contemporary world politics. He does so by developing a conceptually nuanced and insightful perspective that turns critical attention to the everyday construction of sovereignty and statehood, the oft-neglected role of diplomatic agency, and how political legitimacy is fostered by the actions of contested states." - Fiona McConnell, University of Oxford.

"Visoka musters insights from Social Anthropology and International Relations to lay bare the myriad of practices that informed Kosovo’s diplomatic strategy to act like a state and join the international community. Generalisable insights are on ample display." - Iver B. Neumann, Norwegian Social Research (NOVA).

"In this important and innovative book, Gëzim Visoka explores the everyday politics of constructing independent statehood and obtaining international recognition. The rich empirical analysis of Kosovo’s diplomatic efforts shows convincingly that such agency matters: international recognition does not simply depend on international norms or great power politics. The book makes an original and significant contribution to the existing literature and is a must-read for anyone interested in state recognition." - Nina Caspersen, University of York, UK.

'Shaping Peace in Kosovo: The Politics of Peacebuilding and Statehood' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

This book explores the prospects and limits of international intervention in building peace and creating a new state in an ethnically divided society and fragmented international order. The book offers a critical account of the international missions in Kosovo and traces the effectiveness of fluid forms of interventionism. It also explores the co-optation of peace by ethno-nationalist groups and explores how their contradictory perception of peace produced an ungovernable peace, which has been manifested with intractable ethnic antagonisms, state capture, and ignorance of the root causes, drivers, and consequences of the conflict. Under these conditions, prospects for emancipatory peace have not come from external actors, ethno-nationalist elite, and critical resistance movements, but from local and everyday acts of peace formation and agnostic forms for reconciliation. The book proposes an emancipatory agenda for peace in Kosovo embedded on post-ethnic politics and joint commitments to peace, a comprehensive agenda for reconciliation, people-centred security, and peace-enabling external assistance.



Palgrave series: Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies.

“This book illuminates the international attempts to build peace amidst a history of ethic confrontation and the clash of demands for self-determination with the doctrine of territorial unity of states. It offers an innovative theoretical framework for the study of international peacebuilding while applying it to a masterful analysis of the case of Kosovo.” -- Marc Weller, Professor of International Law and International Constitutional Studies, University of Cambridge, UK.

“Kosovo was the poster child of international intervention. It was a ‘good war’ against tyrannical dictatorship and afterwards was lavished with international peacebuilding assistance. Fifteen years on, Gëzim Visoka unpacks the story of precarious peacebuilding in Kosovo. This incisive and timely analysis is theoretically and conceptually innovative, and punctures the myth of peacebuilding ‘strategy’. Visoka explores the fluid and unfinished nature of peacebuilding, and contends that bottom-up community initiatives have the capacity to change on the ground conditions. This book is a rapier-like critique of failed peacebuilding and will be on my reading lists.” -- Roger Mac Ginty, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Manchester, UK.


'Peace Figuration after International Intervention: Intentions, Events and Consequences of Liberal Peacebuilding' (Routledge, 2016).

This book examines the adverse impacts of liberal peacebuilding in conflict-affected societies. It introduces ‘peace figuration’ as a new analytical framework for studying the intentionality, performativity, and consequences of liberal peacebuilding. The work challenges current theories and views and searches for alternative non-conflicted research avenues that are suitable for understanding how peacebuilding intentions are made, how different events shape peace outcomes, and what are the consequences of peacebuilding interventions. Drawing on detailed case studies of peacebuilding in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Timor-Leste, the book argues that attempts to build peace often fail to achieve the intended outcomes. A figurational view of peacebuilding interventions shows that post-conflict societies experience multiple episodes of success and failure in an unpredictable trajectory. This book develops a relational sociology of peacebuilding impact, which is crucial for overcoming static measurement of peacebuilding successes or failures. It shows that international interventions can shape peace but, importantly, not always in the shape they intended. This book will be of much interest to students of statebuilding, peacebuilding, war and conflict studies, security studies and IR.




This book provides an original contribution to the contemporary peacebuilding studies by developing a figurational sociology of peacebuilding interventions. It will be of much interest to students of peace and conflict studies, international political sociology, and international relations.


‘Critical thinkers have long been calling for an empirical analysis of the sociology of peace interventions, as well as their relationality with the subjects of those interventions. Visoka's book moves the debate further in this direction with a fascinating analysis of key aspects of international peace interventions in Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo and Timor Leste, measuring intentionality against outcomes. Visoka's superb book illustrates how consequences flow from such interventions, often undermining their attempts to achieve specific goals, and placing political development upon an alternative trajectory.’ -- Oliver P. Richmond, University of Manchester, UK.

'This excellent volume brings new insights into one of the defining international challenges of our time: how to support peace and reconstruction in post-conflict societies in a way that is both effective and legitimate. The idea of ‘peace figuration’ takes the debate forward into new theoretical directions, and the book draws upon important empirical illustrations. It is highly recommended to researchers and students alike.' -- Edward Newman, University of Leeds, UK.

'Gëzim Visoka's achievement is to reconceptualise peacebuilding as relational processes. Peace Figuration analyses a Clausewitzian clash of relations in which the best laid strategies and expectations, posited as common interests in a clear victory for peace, are constantly jeopardised by frictions. Visoka challenges the problem-solving, lessons-learned approach to peacebuilding by identifying the sociological essence of peace and the huge significance of unintended outcomes. Many of these outcomes lie in the uncertain futures of war-affected societies, likely to rebound disconcertingly against 'liberal' power. This absorbing analysis will engage a wide readership of students and policy-makers.' -- Michael Pugh, Emeritus Professor University of Bradford, UK.

'Gëzim Visoka has made a major contribution both theoretically and empirically to the study of liberal peacebuilding. Theoretically, he takes further the recent application of Norbert Elias’s sociological ideas to the field of international politics (thus also helping to rescue sociology from its increasingly narrow, domestic, short-term and policy-orientated foci). And his case studies explain the unpredicted outcomes of three well-intentioned interventions.' -- Stephen Mennell, Professor Emeritus, University College Dublin, Republic of Ireland.