The Dynamics Behind an Independent Kosovo
I do not think that independence is likely to occur overnight in other countries if that is what is meant by “inspire”.
I do not think that independence is likely to occur overnight in other countries if that is what Kosovo “inspiring” independence around the globe intends. Naturally every country has their own situation which is distinct from the next but there are common patterns which will back the notion that states splitting off from pre-existing ones during a period of relative peace around the globe, where conflicts are not as widespread as during a world war, is not something that can occur as spontaneously as one would think.
If anything one has to consider the viability of a prospective state before it happens. The province of Kosovo had the ethnic majority of Albanians and the existence of an independent legislature, which are key for separation to be successful. A legislature means that the province had time to seal its hold on the masses. It meant that elected members were accessible and answerable to the local population and not necessarily dependent on the central government for support. The country’s government also knew it would have the support of the United States and other key western countries before it decided on separation.
Since Serbia being bombed by NATO jets, in the early nineties is still fresh in Serbian memory, that country did not need to think twice about the importance of support of the United States on Kosovo’s move. Then the fight was on to eliminate the much-hated Milosevic from power because of his tactics of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. Albania knew that there would not be another Serbian leader present to do the same thing in the province of Kosovo, especially after such a short interval since an international tribunal condemned the former leader’s aggressive pursuits.
The fact that Kosovo is largely Albanian and Albania is largely influenced by the west and Italy in particular, was an important factor in the creation of a pro-western state. There are thousands of Italians still working in the country, as there are in Libya both former satellite countries of Italy during the last war. The time was right for the succession of Albania from its Serbian overseers because of the steady decline of the Yugoslavian empire, which did little to address the ethnic diversity of the individual states that it controlled in Tito’s time. History has proved that often the death of a suppressive leader will induce change in the country he has dominated. This dynamic leader knew how to suppress ethnic uprisings because of his military clout and propaganda machine and played his cards well enough to intimidate succession of Croatia, Slovenia and other former Yugoslavian controlled states before the country collapsed after his death.
The qualities of many ethnic groups with separate languages having a history of conflict for centuries has to be present within other sovereign states and there has to be a majority of support within the region that is fighting for independence.One can look at other countries where succession has not succeeded so far, to see the difference. If one looks at Lombardy within Italy one can see that even though there are plenty of local residents who are reticent
of sending their tax money to Rome they have not gotten themselves to the level of keeping their tax money at home and cutting off economic ties with Rome. Another factor is that the people of the region speak the same language as do their leaders in Rome. This is not to say that succession will not occur in other unified countries or that there is not a defacto existence, something that I think of with my own province where Quebec has been getting preferential treatment from the federal government over language laws over recent years, enough to make it practically impossible for an anglohone to get a job in the civil service of his own province. This happens even if the individual is bilingual. Since voting for another referendum for separation of Quebec is not as popular as it was in the days of the FLQ crisis in the late sixties and early seventies and there is an existence of Quebec offices outside of the country in Europe and the world over, the province is for all intents and purposes generating business on its own. That has satisfied much of the ruling class in the province and probably lead to the disinterest in seceding from the country together with the fact that separating from a centralized country would be ruinous for the province when trade is largely dependent on American interests.This explains why Quebec is still a Canadian province even though many Quebecers will think of it as sovereign.
It seems that the Balkan region has had a history of upheaval at least within the last hundred years which is unparalleled elsewhere. From the time that the Archduke of Austria was assassinated by a Serb which heralded the decline of the Austrian Empire to the conflict between Greeks and Turks leading to the creation of modern Greece to the conflict behind the existence of an autonomous Macedonian state, there have been conflicts leading to alliances. These alliances have helped to intervene and set up independent states in the Balkans with the hope of destabilizing the influence of external powers of then Ottoman and Austrian Empires.
Then of course the Balkans has seen a successful succession of regions from controlling states because of the presence of many ethnic groups with deep-seated mistrust of one another and because of the element of the close proximity of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Catholic one and the Islamic faith that has helped to fuel that mistrust.One has only to turn to a recent statement of the present pope regarding the Islamic faith as being aggressive as an example of what has fueled conflicts in the past. Since there is a large number of Muslims in Serbia and a large number if Catholics in Albania this has favored the succession.