Hydropower and Justice in Kosovo: A qualitative case study on procedural and restorative justice in the decision-making process for small-scale hydropower projects

This thesis investigates the decision-making process that led to the rapid adoption of small-scale hydropower projects, and its social implications, in Kosovo between 2013 and 2021. However, the fairness of the decision-making process for hydropower projects has been heavily criticized by local communities and NGOs. This research links procedural justice concerns voiced by a small community in Southeast Kosovo with wider sectoral problems on a national level and thereafter explores how restorative justice can bridge gaps between policy and practice and restore social and environmental harms caused in the past.

The research is based on a document review, field observations and interviews conducted during fieldwork in March 2023 and informed by energy justice theory. Results show how procedures have lacked transparency, participation of local communities, and compliance with legislation. Furthermore, the reconciliation process is hindered due to a sense of responsibility and meaningful actions from those who have caused harm.