Civil Society in Kosovo (1993-2002)
These issues of On the Record tell the dramatic story of Kosovo civil society before, during and after the war between Serbia and NATO in 1999. They were published online by AP between 1999 and 2000.
AP’s interest in Kosovo stemmed from the earlier experience of AP staffers, Teresa Crawford and Peter Lippman. Peter and Teresa visited Kosovo in 1998 to support Kosovo students. They were arrested and expelled by the Serbian authorities. Following the war, in June 1999, AP asked Teresa and Peter to return to Kosovo and tell the story of how Kosovo’s civil society had resisted Serbian rule and survived the war. AP published their dispatches as a series of On the Record. Teresa was then seconded to help an IT start-up, the Internet Project Kosovo, one of the earliest experiments in the use of IT to build peace.
In the summer of 2000, Iain Guest from AP visited Kosovo to pick up the story and profile civil society under UN administration (UNMIK). He found an alarming unwillingness on the part of UNMIK to use the local skills of Kosovars that had been forged during the “parallel” government by Kosovar civil society during the 1990s. These issues of On the Record are offered in appreciation of a bold experiment by local civil society that has been largely ignored by the official histories.