legitimising speech act inside the discourse of the
international law, but it spectacularly fails to legitimise the violence
which follows its invocation. Serbia’s attempts to legitimise its
stance as a warringstate defending the idea of state sovereignty was
represented as an anachronism. Indeed, in Kosovo, the end of the
legitimate warringstate was at stake. Where is the political entity
In the story of post-Cold War conceptual confusion, the war in and over Kosovo stands out as a particularly interesting episode. This book provides new and stimulating perspectives on how Kosovo has shaped the new Europe. It breaks down traditional assumptions in the field of security studies by sidelining the theoretical worldview that underlies mainstream strategic thinking on recent events in Kosovo. The book offers a conceptual overview of the Kosovo debate, placing these events in the context of globalisation, European integration and the discourse of modernity and its aftermath. It then examines Kosovo's impact on the idea of war. One of the great paradoxes of the war in Kosovo was that it was not just one campaign but two: there was the ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo and the allied bombing campaign against targets in Kosovo and all over Serbia. Serbia's killing of Kosovo has set the parameters of the Balkanisation-integration nexus, offering 'Europe' (and the West in general) a unique opportunity to suggest itself as the strong centre that keeps the margins from running away. Next, it investigates 'Kosovo' as a product of the decay of modern institutions and discourses like sovereignty, statehood, the warring state or the United Nations system. 'Kosovo' has introduced new overtones into the European Weltanschauung and the ways in which 'Europe' asserts itself as an independent power discourse in a globalising world: increasingly diffident, looking for firm foundations in the conceptual void of the turn of the century.
, an American attempt to secure global hegemony that was intimately connected to a struggle over the international oil market. Finally, despite the grave issues at stake, it was the peculiarities of the policy process inside the two main protagonist states that made a violent resolution of the conflict unavoidable. Without the interaction of all these levels, there would have been no second Gulf War.
Level one: formation of a ‘warstate’
Saddam’s Hussein’s decision to invade Kuwait provoked the second Gulf War but this was
for the sake of the victims themselves but additionally as a means of ‘reassuring
ourselves [i.e. all Europeans] of our own political identity’. He
endeavoured to keep in mind ‘the gruesome features of a century that
“invented” the gas chambers, total war, state-sponsored genocide, and
extermination camps’, but at the same time not to become ‘transfixed
by the gruesomeness of the century’, not to evade ‘conscious
assessment of the horror that finally
could be adapted to a very
positive role if socialist parties acquired power by constitutional
This belief reached its apogee in
Britain during and just after the Second World War. State planning helped to
defeat Britain’s enemies and could, it was believed, win the war
against ignorance, poverty and want at home. Social reformism was the
dominant ideology throughout most of the post-war era
part of a continuing process, the dynamic of fostering informal governance
arrangements has generated a cohabited context of citizens and military, exposing the inextricable relationships between war, state-making and resistance.
1 For an overview of academic debates see: (Autesserre 2012a; Cuvelier, Vlassenroot, and
Olin 2014; Turner 2007 Ch. 1).
2 Its latest mandate was extended until August 2016 (UN Security Council 2015).
3 A more general overview can be found in Pugh (2005); Williams (2008); World Bank
(1997; 2007; 2012a).
4 E.g., ex
-introducing the Catholic
tradition of a ‘just war’. Neumann’s conclusions are
unflattering for Western politicians, as he questions the morality of a
no-own-losses war, which yields to the temptation of letting other people
die instead. ‘Humanity’ was invoked in Kosovo as a political
notion, a legal concept and, ultimately, as a speech act legitimising war
and thereby replacing the legitimate warringstate – but it has
Virtuousness, virtuality and virtuosity in NATO’s representation of the Kosovo campaign
Charter, or it becomes, as authorised by the UN
Security Council, an execution, sanction, or enforcement of
international law. 12
War as a duel between states has been replaced by a discriminatory
concept in which the warringstate becomes a ‘criminal’ or
Although the UN Charter constitutes a major modification
of the law of war, the Western imagination goes much