Dependent on Arrival: Kosovo's Status Settlement and the New Constitution

International Affairs Review, Vol. 17, No. 1, p. 1, 2008

24 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2008

Date Written: 2008


International recognition of Kosovo's independence and newfound statehood may have come at a high price. During the past eight years of talks and negotiations on Kosovo's final status, a great deal of consideration was given to regional, continental, and international concerns. Unfortunately, not nearly as much deliberation went into providing for a functional, stable, and democratic Kosovar constitution and state. As Kosovo now asserts itself as the newest member of the international community, the consequence of the internationally led process, which resulted in the development and acceptance of the Ahtisaari plan, may well be paralysis and destabilization of Kosovo's new constitution and state.

Considering the long period of UN and NATO control in Kosovo, it is not surprising that Ahtisaari's plan relies upon transitional powers and international supervision. The international community and Kosovars alike expected broad supervisory roles for foreign powers throughout the transitional period. What is surprising - indeed even alarming - is the degree to which the Settlement mandates and enshrines these supervisory, transitional, and ultimately subjugating roles as permanent provisions in the new Kosovar Constitution. This article asserts that Kosovar independence and sovereignty is undermined because Ahtisaari's plan prioritizes political consensus among international power brokers, particularly members of the UNSC and Serbia, before lasting independence and success for the new Kosovar state.

The implied and express object of Ahtisaari's plan, like most endeavors in state-building, was to lay the foundations for Kosovo to become an independent, functional state based on the rule of law. In many ways, the Settlement accomplishes that aim. But in other ways, particularly in the area of constitutional development, Ahtisaari's plan will likely lead only to further dysfunction and paralysis - leaving the new Kosovar state dependent on arrival.

Keywords: Kosovo, Constitution, Ahtisaari, U.N., Constitutional Law, Balkans

JEL Classification: K33, K3

Suggested Citation

Vogel, Ryan Joseph, Dependent on Arrival: Kosovo's Status Settlement and the New Constitution (2008). International Affairs Review, Vol. 17, No. 1, p. 1, 2008. Available at SSRN:

Ryan Joseph Vogel (Contact Author)

Utah Valley University ( email )

800 West University Parkway
Orem, UT 84058-5999
United States

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