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Kosovo and the Collateral Effects of Humanitarian Intervention

Monday November 18, 2019, at 13:30
Room 24.021 (Ground floor). Mercè Rodoreda 24 building
Research seminar

Jaume Castan Pinos (University of Southern Denmark)

Humanitarian intervention is rising ever higher in international relations discourse, with many publications exploring the nature, legality and success of these interventions. However, less attention is given to what happens after an intervention. This presentation, based on Jaume Castan's recently published book, looks at the implications for territorial and border relations, exploring the case of Kosovo, which in many ways can be seen as a turning point in post-cold war international humanitarian intervention. The 1999 intervention has had significant consequences for Kosovo in terms of political transformations, territorial alterations and enclavisation, none of which was officially intended or foreseen when NATO intervened.

Two decades after NATO’s intervention and a decade after unilaterally declaring independence, Kosovo continues to be confronted with daunting existential challenges that inevitably affect the stability of the region, border relations, and the credibility of the organisations operating within Kosovo, namely the UN, the EU and NATO. Jaume Castan's argument are that not only is the political and territorial conflict far from being settled, but that the implications have gone beyond Kosovo, creating shock waves which have galvanised conflicts elsewhere.

Jaume Castan's research interests are framed by International Politics, Political geography and border studies. More specifically, he is interested in the role played by the state in contemporary politics and in the scrutiny of territorial disagreements. His academic interests also include the conflictual aspect of borders, the strengthening of border controls and the study of European enclaves.

His current research focuses on territoriality in the Balkans. More specifically, he is interested in analysing the socio-political challenges of Serbian enclaves in Kosovo and how these territories are affected by (and affect) the bilateral relations between Belgrade and Pristina. In addition to that, his research aims to critically examine the dominant narratives concerning the role of the “International Community” in Kosovo.