Isa Blumi
New York University, New York

The More Things Change: The International Community's State-Building Project in Kosova.

Place: Chateau Linza, Tirana, Albania
Date: July 27, 2000


As we approach the first anniversary of the United Nations/OSCE assumption of supreme administrative authority in Kosova, is appears the project has been an utter failure. This presentation will theorize the institutional presumptions UNMIK/OSCE have brought to Kosova and demonstrate why such archaic models of state building have failed in Kosova. Through an analysis of concrete administrative dictates and the internal dynamics of Kosovar political and social life, I will conclude that the innovations of administrative practice and the important contribution social scientists have made to understanding the failures of the modern state clearly have not penetrated the bureaucratic ranks of international aid agencies, the United Nations and donor institutions. The case of Kosova and its violent failure serves as a warning signal that the assumptions of globalization and the disintegration of the nation-state does not mean administrative strategies have reflected these realities. The more things have changed, the more they have remained the same.

(An updated version of the lecture is published in the journal of Southeast European Politics (SEEP), October 2000 available at

Biographical note:

Isa Blumi has a PhD  in history and middle eastern studies at New York University .His various publications deal with different aspects of identity. He has worked in particular on Yemen, the Ottoman Empire, and Albania.

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