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Forging Kosovo: Between Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence


Edited By Arben Hajrullahu and Anton Vukpalaj

For many areas of social science research, including conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and international state-building, Kosovo remains a uniquely interesting and relevant case. This book is motivated by the belief that there is much to be gained, analytically and empirically, from bringing together local scholarship that focuses on Kosovo-specific issues. It helps understand how pathdependent historical legacies set in motion prior to and during the war for independence, coupled with contemporary processes of dependence on and interdependence with external actors, shaped contemporary Kosovo society and institutions. It brings together a methodologically diverse set of local scholarly perspectives on contemporary political, legal and societal developments in Kosovo.

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State and Belonging: Collective Memory and Identity Formation in Post-War Kosovo

Bekim Baliqi


Abstract This chapter aims to explore the impact of collective memory in shaping identity in the post-war context through its political, social and cultural representations. It raises, therefore, a central question: how the memory of war, in terms of prevalent narratives, rituals and commemorations, shapes the emerging of shared political and state identity formation? In this sense, I assume that there are two incompatible tendencies, namely to remember and commemorate the war events in the strictly ethnic-nationalist manner and to forge a civic and multi-ethnic identity that goes beyond ethnic belonging. These contradictions are explored through discourse analysis of prevalent narratives on war and their symbolic articulation and also by content analysis of constitutional and other legal-political frameworks. It focuses on the discussions of the relations between memories and identity formation, and further between efforts in dealing with the past and promoting political legitimacy of the power elites. Finally, the conclusions are presented and summarized, and at the same time, the questions of identity formation and state-building in Kosovo are discussed.

Keywords: Identity, collective memory, ethnic relations, state, Kosovo

When we pose the question “Who are we?” it appears often to be more a rhetorical question that needs no clear answer than a sincere scientific or political issue which has to be addressed properly. Because it is supposed that every society should “know” who they are, or at least the state must provide them with a collective identity and a sense of belonging. Is that usually...

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