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Macalester College

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans

Abstract

Fifteen years after the enactment of UN Resolution 1244, the resulting international administration in Kosovo has been experiencing a waning sense of legitimacy among the state’s population. Heading up the opposition to this ongoing administration is a group of self-proclaimed ‘young international activists,’ also known as Lëvizja VETËVENDOSJE!, or the Self-Determination Movement! Since its creation in 2005, however, this group has transformed from a small, tightly-knit group of outspoken activists to a new type of political force with an elected body of officials in Parliament. This paper attempts to determine how such a transition from political movement to political party affects such a group—particularly its membership—through an analysis of members’, former members’ and community members’ personal definitions of ‘movement’ and ‘party.’ A total of eight citizens of Pristina were interviewed about their thoughts on these concepts, in particular relating to their views on how the group’s message, membership and organizational structure has been affected since its entrance into Parliament. This examination then outlines the practical implications of VETËVENDOSJE!’s Parliamentary involvement, in particular focusing on changes in membership and the group’s resulting institutionalization. Finally, it concludes with the message of changes in membership as the number one force of institutionalization for VETËVENDOSJE!, affecting not only its structure and platform, but its chances for success in the future.

Disciplines

Community-Based Research | Inequality and Stratification | Peace and Conflict Studies | Politics and Social Change

 

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