Unravelling Liberal Interventionism: Local Critiques of Statebuilding in Kosovo

4. Gëzim Visoka and Vjosa Musliu (eds) (2019), Unravelling Liberal Interventionism: Local Critiques of Statebuilding in Kosovo, London: Routledge.

Despite calls for the decolonisation of knowledge, scholars who come from conflict-affected societies remained marginalised, excluded from the examination of the politics and impacts of liberal interventionism. This edited volume gives local scholars a platform from which they critically examine different aspects of liberal interventionism and statebuilding in Kosovo. Drawing on situational epistemologies and grounded approaches, the chapters in this book interrogate a wide range of themes, including: the politics of local resistance; the uneven relationship between international statebuilders and local subjects; faking of local ownership of security sector reform and the rule of law; heuristic and practical limits of interventionism, as well as the subjugated voices in statebuilding process, such as minorities and women. The book finds that the local is not antidote to the liberal, and that local perspectives are not monolithic. Yet, local critiques of statebuilding do not seek to generate replicable knowledge; rather they prefer generating situational and context-specific knowledge be that to resolve problems or uncover the unresolved problems. The book seeks to contribute to critical peace and conflict studies by (re)turning the local turn to local scholars who come from conflict-affected societies and who have themselves experienced the transition from war to peace. This book is essential reading for students and scholars of peace- and state-building, conflict studies and international relations.

Link: https://www.routledge.com/Unravelling-Liberal-Interventionism-Local-Critiques-of-Statebuilding-in/Visoka-Musliu/p/book/9781138579910


“A superb collection on Kosovo’s statebuilding process written by a distinguished group of local scholars. This book is a staunch contribution to understanding the challenges that underpin contemporary efforts for building peace and creating states after violent conflict. A must-read for scholars and practitioners of international relations alike.” – Atifete Jahjaga, President of the Republic of Kosovo (2011-2016)

“A rare and valuable study by a group of Kosovar scholars that argues that local actors are not passive targets but critical agents of legitimation and success of international peacebuilding efforts. A timely contribution to the literature on peacebuilding that also strengthens the emerging field of Non-Western and Global IR.” – Prof. Amitav Acharya, American University, USA

“Taking its prompt from postcolonial challenges critiques of Eurocentrism in International Relations theory, this book insightfully reassesses the local dimensions and meanings of intervention. It does so, however, by addressing Europe’s intimate other – Kosovo. The editors have curated a wide-ranging and edifying set of contributions that turn the postcolonial critique towards Europe’s own borderlands. As such, this book marks a crucial contribution to – and innovation in – debates surrounding intervention and statebuilding.” – Prof. Robbie Shilliam, John Hopkins University, USA

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