January 16, 2008

YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT:

Kosovo’s Declaration of Dependence: Hashim Thaci, one-time guerrilla turned PM of Kosovo, has promised to break away from Serbia. It's independence, Jim, but not as we know it. (David Chandler, 1/15/08, Spiked)

At the formal level of legal sovereignty there has been substantial disagreement over recognising Kosovo’s independence from Serbia. States opposing recognition - EU members such as Cyprus or Security Council member Russia – have been primarily concerned over the legal principles held to be at stake and the state-based international order they uphold. The same goes for outspoken opponents of Kosovo’s independence in the US, such as Lawrence Eagleburger.

However, to see the issue of Kosovo’s independence solely in terms of traditional international relations questions of state sovereignty and the framework of international law would be to miss the dynamics of the Kosovo declaration, which has been driven by the need to change international institutional structures for managing the province rather than by conflicts over control of the territory.

In practice, Kosovo has effectively been independent from Serbia since the end of the Kosovo war in 1999, when the UN administration of the province was established under Security Council resolution 1244.


Under the traditional definition, effective sovereignty is sovereignty. Under the Anglo-American redefinition, any people who consider themselves a sovereign state are one. Given that Kosovo is effectively sovereign and Kosovars consider themselves not to be Serbian, it is sovereign in both traditional and modern terms.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 16, 2008 9:25 PM
Comments

Belgium was a so-called "sovereign" power in 1914 because France and England said so, the issue then being decided by the last argument of realms.

The former Confederate States of America were found not sovereign by the same mechanism.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 17, 2008 2:38 AM

Failure to exercise effective sovereignty is the lack of sovereignty. All we did in WWI and the Civil War was restore the right of the majority to self-determination.

Posted by: oj at January 17, 2008 8:24 AM

Turkish Republic of Cypress.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 17, 2008 3:47 PM
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