Volume 28 (2008)

Balkan Lessons: Learned and Unlearned

Andrea Kathryn Talentino
Tulane University
Published April 1, 2008
How to Cite
Talentino, A. K. (2008). Balkan Lessons: Learned and Unlearned. Journal of Conflict Studies, 28. Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/JCS/article/view/11247


This article examines the peace-building efforts in Bosnia and Kosovo to assess what has been accomplished and what international actors might have learned through the experience. Although in some sense the international operations in both cases have been profoundly successful - violence is absent, new governments have taken hold, and elections are considered free and fair - these successes are heavily qualified. Ethnic tensions remain high, local actors remain resistant to consensual modes of governance, and both places are considered relatively unstable. That is not surprising, as research shows that international peace-building is more successful at addressing immediate security needs than at building effective institutions. But the long tenure of these cases also makes them good candidates for examining the process of transition, to assess both its successes and its enduring challenges.