This paper looks at the case of citizenship in Kosovo and argues that the mismatch between the idea of a ‘liberal’ state and the practice of group differentiation, on the one hand, and the socio-political reality that emerged in the post-war period, on the other, has resulted in a citizenship regime that is hierarchical. It aims to demonstrate how despite the legally enshrined promise of equality, differentiated citizenship, together with a political context defined by an ethnic divide and past structural inequalities, as well as uneven external citizenship opportunities, contributed to the emergence of hierarchical citizenship, in which some groups (communities), or ‘rights-and-duty-bearing units’, are more equal than the others.