The journey to positive peace
: grassroots peace building in Kosovo

  • Madeleine Mosse

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis examines grassroots peace building in Kosovo during the period 2001 - 2008 and seeks to understand how international actors have best supported, or otherwise, a process of deepening peace at this level. The research centres on analysis of thirty-three in-depth interviews with the main actors from this field.

    Through analysing interpretations of peace and peace building in Kosovo, I identify a contradiction between on the one hand, the dominant approach of building peace through relationships (favoured by international actors); and on the other, the need for peace to address personal needs. This means helping individuals come to terms with the past, and affecting a broader normalization of people’s everyday lives. I assert that a ‘deepening’ of peace in Kosovo will ultimately come about through offering young people more opportunities to ‘open up their hearts and minds’ - to broaden their horizons in ways that they feel empowered to view themselves and the world around them through a critical lens.

    This research identifies negative attitudes and behaviours amongst external actors in Kosovo, and illustrates how our personal qualities and conduct are of primary importance when it comes to peace building. In doing so, I identify a need for a higher level of self-awareness, commitment and empathy amongst external actors. Whilst reports have emerged which seek to evaluate the impact of peace building in Kosovo, this research examines the experiences of those engaged in such endeavours and encompasses a strong story-telling element. It also seeks to ground the issues at stake within a broader understanding of Kosovo’s social and historical landscape.
    Date of Award2012
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorHoward Clark (Supervisor)


    • peace building
    • conflict
    • grassroots
    • Kosovo
    • international NGOs

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