Administration and Governance in Kosovo: Lessons Learned and Lessons To Be Learned

This paper aims to study the dynamics of the post-war administration of Kosovo by the international community. By assessing the UN Mission in Kosovo and its implementation of both civilian and military components of its mandate, this paper identifies key successes and failures related to the administrative dynamics post-war Kosovo. The paper is organized in four different sections, each one addressing a particular issue related to UNMIK’s performance and drawing the reader’s attention to possible lessons that may be learned from the experience. In the first section, we concentrate on key aspects of Kosovo’s recent history and its place in the regional and international context. This is followed by a section that examines the performance of three security agencies — the international military force led by NATO, the international civilian police and the local police service. We then analyze interethnic relations after the war and evaluate the efforts of various international and local actors in promoting reconciliation, dealing with property issues that affect community relations and facilitating the return of displaced populations. Finally, the paper looks at the divided city of Mitrovica as a case study, testing the saliency of issues of international engagement in local levels of administration in post-war Kosovo.