Environmental governance in a contested state: the influence of European Union and other external actors on energy sector regulation in Kosovo

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This article examines environmental governance in Kosovo, with a particular focus on the energy sector. The article considers the degree to which the emerging model of environmental governance is characterised by hierarchical and non-hierarchical modes of coordination. We examine the roles of a number of domestic institutions and actors – ministries, agencies, and regulatory bodies– and the influence of external actors, including the EU, the US, and Serbia. The EU is building Kosovo’s own hierarchical governance capacity by strengthening domestic institutions, whilst the US focuses primarily on market liberalization, whilst simultaneously supporting EU efforts. Moreover, environmental policy change is not wholly or predominantly driven by domestic actors, which can partly be attributed to Kosovo’s limited domestic sovereignty. We conclude that the emerging model of environmental governance in Kosovo is characterized by a weak hierarchy, partly as a result of external actor involvement, which disincentivises the government from responding to domestic non-state actor pressure.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-949
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironment and Planning C
Issue number5
Early online date29 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Bibliographic note

The article is not the final print version and must include the following notice: Obradovic-Wochnik, J and Dodds, A., 2015. The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and planning C, 33, 5, 935-949, 2015, 10.1177/0263774X15605899.


  • environmental governance, limited statehood, weak states, energy sector, Kosovo


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