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Contested StatehoodKosovo's Struggle for Independence$
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Marc Weller

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566167

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566167.001.0001

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(p.259) 15 Conclusion
Contested Statehood

Marc Weller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter notes that the provisional outcome of independence for Kosovo warrants general conclusions in a number of key areas, notably with regard to the changing perceptions of sovereignty, issues of governance, human rights, forcible humanitarian action, self-determination and secession, hierarchies among international actors, and conference diplomacy and consent. In general terms, it is argued that while the Kosovo episode may have strengthened the self-determination claims of territorial units, the extension of this principle to ethnic groups would herald the beginning of a post-modern fragmentation of the state system. However, the fact that self-determination conflicts are no longer regarded in absolute terms is viewed as a cause for hope. The challenge remains to bring innovative settlement options to bear in a timely way, before unilateral action on the ground is rendered irreversible.

Keywords:   sovereignty, governance, human rights, humanitarian action, self-determination, secession, diplomacy

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