Fagan, Adam

Democracy promotion in Kosovo: mapping the substance of donor assistance and a comparative analysis of strategies

Cambridge Review of International Affairs


From the perspective of Kosovo, this article contributes to a growing literature focusing on the substance of donor-driven democracy promotion. Drawing on extensive empirical research between 2010 and 2012, the research provides greater insights into which donors are providing what sort of assistance; how the content and focus of aid are decided and formulated; and the behaviour of the European Union (EU) and other large donors compared with small bilaterals and private foundations. By including the category of 'governance-oriented' assistance to classify donor initiatives, a more nuanced mapping of priorities and strategies is offered, which distinguishes between those measures designed to engage civil society (developmental), those focusing on institutions and elite level change (political), and interventions specifically designed to promote closer interaction between government and nongovernmental actors. The conclusion reached is that, although overall levels of aid to Kosovo have remained relatively stable since 2008, donor behaviour is in flux, with evidence of an emergent distinction between what larger donors offer and the provision of smaller bilaterals and private foundations. This, it is argued, has serious implications for the capacity of the EU to continue providing extensive aid across a wide range of issues and policy areas as part of its pre-accession assistance.