Explaining within-country variation in post-war democratization : The role of legitimate local-international partnerships in municipal governance reform in Kosovo

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning

Abstract: A growing literature on hybrid peace governance has showed the importance of taking into account the interactive nature of peacebuilding. However, this literature largely remains imprecise about how local-international interactions affect outcomes, and the hybrid turn has not produced much comparative empirical evidence. This study attempts to contribute to filling this research gap by developing a causal explanation for why micro-level local-international interactions produce within-country variations in post-war democratization. Based on scholarship on strategic bargaining, local ownership and legitimacy, it is hypothesized that a higher prevalence of legitimate local-international partnerships leads to higher adherence to good governance principles. The study uses key informant interviews and survey data to conduct a qualitative most-similar case study at the sub-national level. From the analysis of three municipalities in Kosovo, some support for the hypothesis is generated. The results show that with increased capacity from international support and legitimacy derived from closeness to citizens, local non-political actors can put pressure on political actors to reform. However, more studies are needed to refine the theory and test its applicability in other contexts.

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