This article examines the practices of governance enacted within the framework of the international administration of Kosovo, which was established in 1999. I analyse the complex interplay between power and the liberal-democratic norms around which the UN-led mission defined its role in the province. The international administration exercised significant power in the legal/institutional reconstruction of the province, and in its systematic attempts to socialise Kosovars into accepting Western-based norms of liberal democracy as the only reasonable foundation of their polity. At the same time, however, the norms advocated by the international administration proved to be the source of a certain degree of power for the people of Kosovo. Specifically, those norms provided the framework within which Kosovars were able to criticise the international administration, and to claim the right to greater participation in decisions regarding the province. Over the past couple of years, Kosovo has witnessed the emergence of a shared normative framework within which the international administrators and Kosovar political elites articulate often competitive truth claims about the problems of the province, and mobilise different forms of power in support of those claims.