Faculty Advisor: Professor Jan Kubik
Policy Presentation Theme: War, Development and Sustainable Peace
Twelve years after Kosovo declared independence, it continues to struggle with high unemployment, low amounts of foreign direct investment, inefficient democratic processes, and high levels of corruption. This paper investigates the origins of corruption in Kosovo and proposes solutions to ameliorate the corruption problem. Drawing on the a wide range of academic literature, I find that the root cause of corruption in Kosovo is a patronage system that was established in the early 1990s and which grew out of the informal institutions created by the Albanians during Serbia’s occupation of Kosovo. Once the leaders of these informal institutions were selected, they gained control of the new institutions that were created following the expulsion of Serbia in 1999. Once elected to official positions in Kosovo’s new government and economic systems, they grew the patronage system by rewarding their supporters monetarily and with government positions. The key reforms I suggest are: increase accountability for public officials by shielding judges from political pressures; eliminate government jobs designed to support the patronage system; and weaken the ties between local governments and the community by making certain functions like tax collecting a federal matter.