By Anne-Marie Gardner (auth.)

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See footnote 18. 30 DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE & NON-STATE ACTORS definitions of self-determination, the criteria for assessing claims focus on the dynamics of governance relationships, rather than a one-time assessment of identities and material facts. The dependent variable— international empowerment—ranges from sanction to extensive support, as defined by the degree to which the international community promotes the group’s efforts at self-rule without imposing conditions on the exercise of that rule.

22 Though some groups may use the rhetoric of human rights and democracy purely instrumentally, a detailed examination of the group’s governance practices within its situational context can determine whether the group attempts to offer a more democratic alternative to the central government’s rule. Thus, the posited framework operates in conjunction with the material environment in two ways. First, the framework acts as a filter through which material facts are interpreted: internal actors justify their actions within this framework as the accepted discourse for self-determination claims and external actors use the framework as a template for gathering SELF-DETERMINATION 33 and processing information regarding a particular claim.

An OSCE observer mission, begun in 1992, was mandated to observe and report on human rights abuses in Kosovo, Sandjak, and Vojvodina; Yugoslavia subsequently lost its membership in that organization on the basis of its abysmal human rights record. As the violence escalated over the winter of 1998–99, many international diplomats point to the Racak incident in January 1999—when Serbian forces were under direct orders to indiscriminately target civilians in an Albanian village, killing 45—as the single defining moment when the issue became internationalized.

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