Another State-building Failure?

One of the West’s several current experiments in trying to build an effective and decent state is Kosovo. How’s the experiment going? A BBC report is interesting.

Kosovo is the highest per capita recipient of European aid. In the eight years after NATO’s Kosovo War detached it from Serbia (1999 to 2007), and the EU began its state-building efforts, Kosovo received 3.5bn euros (£2.8bn; $4.5bn) in donor assistance, two-thirds of which came from the European Commission and EU governments. (Its population is 1.8 million.)

The experiment is a less than stellar success. Kosovo is a hotbed of organized crime and corruption. Its a node for the drug trade and money laundering. The judiciary is ineffective. A report by the EU’s auditing arm says Kosovo’s judiciary “continues to suffer from political interference, inefficiency and a lack of transparency and enforcement” as well as “important shortcomings” in witness protection.

It is time to rethink the wisdom of state-building in clannish or familistic societies like Kosovo, or Afghanistan.

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