An Analysis of the Proposed Territorial Exchange in the Case of Serbia and Kosovo
International involvement in the ongoing Serbia-Kosovo conflict has been largely focused on the normalization of relations between the two nations. At the forefront this dialogue are recommendations for a territorial exchange, or land swap, between the two nations. President Trump has been a major proponent of the proposed land swap. Territorial exchanges involve the transfer of land area and the population that resides in said area to another, adjacent nation, in exchange for a portion of land area and its population.
Outlines for a potential land swap between parts of Northern Kosovo and Southern Serbia fail to consider larger regional implications, as well as the continuation of a long history of ethnic separation, rather than reconciliation. The plans for territorial exchange also fail to consider the ramifications for Serbians that remain in Kosovo, the inevitable loss of Serbian state-support education and welfare networks in Kosovo, and the effect of this type of partition on other regional ethnonationalist movements. Further insight into regional dynamics and history of the conflict suggests that policies of rapprochement and reconciliation are best suited to this conflict.