Kosovo and the Neighborhood: Two Years after Independence

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Room 1219 International Affairs Building

Please join the Harriman Institute for a talk by Shpetim Gashi and Alex Grigor’ev from the Project on Ethnic Relations, Princeton, NJ.

Two years ago, on the eve of Kosovo’s declaration of independence, many analysts predicted dire consequences that such a step would have for Kosovo and its Serb community, for the region, and for other countries with secessionist movements in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The domino effect theories, exodus of Kosovo Serbs or renewed violence dominated the headlines. Fortunately, these forecasts have not materialized. Two years later, Europe’s map remains the same, Kosovo Serbs stayed in Kosovo, and no interethnic violence took place.

What has been happening in Kosovo in the last two years? How is the new state functioning? What is happening to Kosovo’s Serb community? What are the prospects for Belgrade and Pristina to establish working contacts? How has Kosovo’s proclamation of independence affected politics and security in the Balkans? What would it take to make Kosovo’s European integration successful? Alex Grigor’ev, the Executive Director of the Project on Ethnic Relation (PER), and Shpetim Gashi, Senior Program Officer at PER, both with considerable experience in the Balkans, will examine these questions and provide possible answers based on their longtime work experience in conflict mediation in the Balkans. Mr. Gashi and Mr. Grigor’ev are graduates of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University.           

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