Human Security as ‘Ethnic Security’ in Kosovo

1. Adem Beha and Gëzim Visoka (2010), ‘Human Security as ‘Ethnic Security’ in Kosovo’, Human Security Perspectives, 7(1): 83-101.

In Kosovo, the concept of human security is invoked in a three-fold manner. First of all, the international community has applied human security for the purpose of maintaining a fragile peace and stability in Kosovo. For the international community, maintaining the fragile peace meant tolerating the establishment and operationalization of Serbian parallel institutions. This leads to the second application of human security: the parallel institutions claim that their existence is necessary to provide human security for the Serbian community in Kosovo. Consequently, this undermines the capacity of Kosovo’s public institutions to exercise legal authority in the north of Kosovo and in other territorial enclaves. Parallel to this, Kosovo’s institutions have viewed the human security approach as a means to prove the institutional capacity of independent self-government to provide inclusive security, welfare, and integration policies for all people in Kosovo, with a special emphasis on ethnic minorities. Accordingly, human security is used by different actors in Kosovo to pursue different political agendas, which have not resulted in achieving the primary goal of furthering human welfare and fulfillment beyond mere physical security. To the contrary, the (ab)use of human security has created the conditions for fragile governance, protracted ethnic destabilization, and stagnating economic and human development.


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