Event Title

The renegotiation of social policy in Kosovo: gradual institutional change since independence

Session

Political Science

Description

This paper examines institutional change in Kosovo since its declaration of independence by focusing on social protection and employment policy. The paper is informed by the gradual institutional change theory which emphasises the silent, gradual rather than abrupt change and the casual role of political coalitions and state institutional characteristics. It draws on data such as public policy reform documents, social indicators, legislation and other parliamentary public data, official comments on reform documents etc. Existing literature dealing with post-socialist trajectories in the South-eastern Europe shows that international organisations, such as the World Bank, played a leading role in social policy formation during the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK, 1999-2008) deployed following NATO’s military intervention which ended the war (1998-1999) between the Albanian majority population and the Government of Yugoslavia. Due to this foreign influence, Kosovo established the most radical pro-market social policy among the former entities of socialist Yugoslavia where most social insurance institutions were maintained. However, since Kosovo’s independence, two forms of active institutional change and change articulations have taken place: (1) significant short-term layering in the form of categorical rights, and recently (2) initiatives and changes with longer-term relevance oriented towards installing social insurance, strengthening employment and wage protection, and improving poverty protection. The changes have socio-economic and ideological implications widely unexpected when the after-war residual social policy was installed. We argue that, in addition to other factors, these changes were influenced crucially by state institutional characteristics, political parties that were created by former Kosovo Liberation Army leadership, and recently the left leaning parties. Cumulatively, the changes amount to a significant transformation from (1) a “caricature” of residual, liberal policy to (2) a government financed dominated social protection with clientelistic features, and (3) to potentially a mixture of government financed redistribution, social insurance, and private market solutions.

Keywords:

social policy, social protection, employment policy, Kosovo, residualism, liberalism, particularism, social-democracy.

Session Chair

Marzena Zakowska

Proceedings Editor

Edmond Hajrizi

ISBN

978-9951-550-19-2

Location

Pristina, Kosovo

Start Date

26-10-2019 3:00 PM

End Date

26-10-2019 3:30 PM

DOI

10.33107/ubt-ic.2019.111

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Oct 26th, 3:00 PM Oct 26th, 3:30 PM

The renegotiation of social policy in Kosovo: gradual institutional change since independence

Pristina, Kosovo

This paper examines institutional change in Kosovo since its declaration of independence by focusing on social protection and employment policy. The paper is informed by the gradual institutional change theory which emphasises the silent, gradual rather than abrupt change and the casual role of political coalitions and state institutional characteristics. It draws on data such as public policy reform documents, social indicators, legislation and other parliamentary public data, official comments on reform documents etc. Existing literature dealing with post-socialist trajectories in the South-eastern Europe shows that international organisations, such as the World Bank, played a leading role in social policy formation during the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK, 1999-2008) deployed following NATO’s military intervention which ended the war (1998-1999) between the Albanian majority population and the Government of Yugoslavia. Due to this foreign influence, Kosovo established the most radical pro-market social policy among the former entities of socialist Yugoslavia where most social insurance institutions were maintained. However, since Kosovo’s independence, two forms of active institutional change and change articulations have taken place: (1) significant short-term layering in the form of categorical rights, and recently (2) initiatives and changes with longer-term relevance oriented towards installing social insurance, strengthening employment and wage protection, and improving poverty protection. The changes have socio-economic and ideological implications widely unexpected when the after-war residual social policy was installed. We argue that, in addition to other factors, these changes were influenced crucially by state institutional characteristics, political parties that were created by former Kosovo Liberation Army leadership, and recently the left leaning parties. Cumulatively, the changes amount to a significant transformation from (1) a “caricature” of residual, liberal policy to (2) a government financed dominated social protection with clientelistic features, and (3) to potentially a mixture of government financed redistribution, social insurance, and private market solutions.