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The creation of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo was a unique moment in international politics, a moment when events compelled the key players in international politics to reveal what they thought about a crucial question of international affairs; what is a state? The way the important states, the United Nations, the North American Treaty Organization, the European Union, and other international organizations went about creating a new government from thin air provides important insight into both what ideas dominated international law thinking at the time and perhaps more importantly, how ideas impact decision-making at the international level. This Article argues that "disaggregated sovereignty," and the general corpus of "Liberalism" in international relations and international law, provided the dominant understanding of state behavior in late twentieth century legal scholarship. Moreover, the Article will argue that the principles of this legal and international relations literature underlay the design of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). The administrative and legal framework of UNMIK closely resembles the idea of a modern liberal state inherent in the disaggregated sovereignty literature.

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