|Institution:||The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)|
|Keywords:||JZ International relations|
|Full text PDF:||http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/3357/|
The post-conflict territories of the Western Balkans have been subjected to an unprecedented level of international attention since the mid-1990s. The EU, NATO and OSCE in particular converged on the region intent on redefining their image - if not purpose - in the first major crisis of the post-Cold War era. Responding to the horrific inter-ethnic violence that defined conflict in the region, International Organisations continually emphasised the importance of upholding standards regarding the protection of, and respect for, ethnic minorities. While literature acknowledges that military forces were deployed to establish and maintain a safe and secure environment for post-conflict peacebuilding to emerge, few scholars have explored the substance of the military role beyond the separation of former warring factions and provision of a secure humanitarian space. This research demonstrates that military actors adapted their approaches to contribute across the spectrum of the peacebuilding effort, including on rights based issues; specifically ethnic minority returns and participation. On the basis of case studies in Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina, the thesis adopts an empirical approach to exploring the reasons for military engagement on these issues and their respective successes and failures. It examines the sources that projected ideas on ethnic minority issues – international policy development, peace treaty composition, and domestic acceptance – and how they influenced military decision making processes. Through post-conflict phases it analyses the domestic footprint of international intervention – international administration and civil-military actors – and discusses thematically the means of military engagement, the receptiveness of domestic actors at multiple levels and the nature of compliance. Acknowledging the overarching civilian framework for intervention, where from the outset the prospective of NATO and EU membership were held forth as the 'prize' for a successful return to 'a Europe of integration, democracy and ethnic pluralism', it establishes the utility of strategic mechanisms – conditionality and normative pressure – in military hands acknowledging the potential for linkage to enlargement frameworks. It argues that in spite of principled objections, military operations can and do have influence in delivering policy on rights based issues.