by Dr. Florian Qehaja
International or Local Ownership? contributes to the debate on the concept of local ownership in post-conflict settings, and discussions on international relations, peacebuilding, security and development studies. It utilizes extensive data collection, including public opinion surveys conducted throughout the country, in order to introduce the concept of local ownership from a policy level towards academia. Empirical data on the relationship between international community and locals in the process of design, management and control of the security sector in the post-independent Kosovo represents one of the most intriguing examples of extensive international community involvement in a state-building project.
Qehaja explains why an excessive role from the international community, which offers no clear exit strategy, has led to the rejection of externally driven policies by local constituencies, finding no applicability in the context of Kosovo. It also shows how international involvement has led to a detachment of security policy from local reality, causing fragmentation and limited sustainability.
Florian Qehaja is currently the Director of Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS), one of the most prominent think tanks in the Western Balkans. He has over twelve years of experience in cooperating with leading international governmental and non-governmental organisations in Kosovo and the Western Balkans. Mr. Qehaja is author of several scientific and policy publications in the security field, and the recipient of prestigious Fulbright and OSI/Chevening scholarships.