From the CIAO Atlas Map of Europe 

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CIAO DATE: 03/02

Intrastate Conflicts, International Interventions and their Implications on Security Issues, Case of Kosovo

Enika Abazi

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute
September 2001


Intra-state conflicts are not a new phenomenon. Since 1945 they have been more frequent and more violent than inter-state warfare (SIPRI-UNESCO Handbook, 1998: 13-25). With the end of the Cold War these tendencies exuberated following mostly in the lines of ethno-national and separatist-armed conflicts, bringing a significant shift in the perception of security issues and alternative approaches to it, especially in Europe. In particular, the changing dialogue of sovereignty, identity and security and international responsibility appears to be increasingly significant. Considering that the prepositions in IR depend on both empirical validity and logical soundness a theoretical exercise on the case of intra-state conflicts questions the validity of the traditional state developed concept of security. The path is open for new interpretations and understanding of normative, operational and structural issues in contemporary world politics.

Human and moral choices determined by the dialectics of intra-state conflicts revealed to be inherent features of both social and international order pressurizing upon the reorganization of the conceptual framework and epistemological principles in which security studies and conflict resolution processes are organized. Obviously we are witnessing the opening moves in international relations where the realist perspective of focusing on the security of a particular state and the intrusion of liberal principles such as the protection of fundamental human rights are part of the same process although their coexistence still remains ambiguous and controversial.

The paper will assess the inter-linkage between the intra-state conflicts and the international answer and intervention to such conflicts and its implication for the international relations and security issues. The paper will take a closer look to the case of Kosovo to find the applicability of the arguments raised on this paper. Nevertheless, the aim of the paper is not to reveal the large-extended problematic, enumerate all circumstances and effecting factors relevant to the case, neither detail all means and strategies that can be used to resolve the cases. These limitations are done with the intention of avoiding bulky whilst preserving cohesion and consistency within the limits of a paper.