Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations


Kosovo, New states, Independence


The case of Kosovo's independence raised concern regarding setting a precedence for other pro self-determination movements in the world. The critical question is if the Kosovo case actually sets a precedent for these movements or if it is a unique case due to its sui generis situation. This paper is an attempt to analyze the legality and the legitimate right of Kosovo to become an independent state. The study examines the phenomenon of the creation of new states in the world, looking at historical events such as decolonization and the dissolution of communist countries in Eastern Europe. In addition, I have included facts describing the continuous acts of genocide perpetrated by Serbs over the years and the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of Albanian populations through the centuries. Equally important is the analysis of Kosovo‟s status within the 1974 Constitution and its abolition, which in one way started the dissolution of the SFRY. This paper concludes that Kosovo has a historical and legal right to be independent due to its uniqueness in suffering a long history of genocide, ethnic cleansing, the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, the extended period of the United Nations administration, and the United Nations negotiations toward independence with international support.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.