This book traces the failure of international action in Kosovo from the late 1980s until NATO intervention in 1999, and endeavours to explain why, during that time, so many opportunities for making peace were squandered. Applying methodology developed by the EU Conflict Prevention Network, it divides the conflict into four main phases and examines how, at each, chances for settlement were either lost or overlooked. It considers policy alternatives available at the time, and hypothesises reasons why these were ultimately discarded. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including the author’s own experience of the negotiations process, this book presents a hitherto unexplored thesis of the Kosovo conflict, that of a ‘lag’ in international action in relation to the situation on the ground, and seeks to draw from these failures some central lessons for the future of conflict prevention.
Marc Weller is Reader in International Law and International Relations in the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Hughes Hall and of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, and Director of the European Centre for Minority Issues. He has served as a legal advisor in many international peace negotiations addressing ethnic conflicts.