Kosovo and Timor-Leste
Neotrusteeship, Neighbors, and the United Nations
Why do some states transition, with foreign assistance, from “fragile” to “robust”? Scholars in state-building have argued that neotrusteeship is an effective strategy by which external organizations might build postconflict states. This article tests this hypothesis, and two related propositions, in a paired comparison of Kosovo and Timor-Leste. The two states are similar in many respects and both experienced regional peace enforcement operations to end violent conflict, followed by massive neotrusteeship operations. They have had divergent results, however, in postconflict statement operations to end violent conflict, followed by massive neotrusteeship operations. They have had divergent results, however, in postconflict statebuilding: while the state and economy are gradually becoming stronger in Timor-Leste, the same cannot be said of Kosovo, which continues to be plagued by high unemployment, low growth, corruption, and organized crime. I argue that many of Kosovo’s problems can be traced back to the strategy of dividing international responsibility for neotrusteeship operations.