Perceptions of Identity in the Face of Nation-Building A Case Study: Albanian Identities in Kosovo/Kosova


Kosovo was recently been granted independence from Serbia on February 18, 2008; 9 years after NATO intervened militarily with a bombing campaign on Serbian forces. During these 9 years the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) was established to effectively oversea the nation-building efforts and all aspects of the formation of a Kosovo government. In this paper I examine how nation-building impacted the ethnic Albanian’s identity in Kosovo from their history of a minority within Serbia to an independent country with new national symbols, European laws, and possible future EU membership. The UN used social and political benchmarks called ‘Standards before Status’ to ensure this new nation met certain standards, effectively the road to EU membership; many of these benchmarks called for a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society of equality to be created. Reconciliation between ethnic groups has not made the end-roads that the UN had hoped. Ethnic and geographic divides still pit ethnic group’s identities with an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ mentality. The UN and the international community perpetuated this divide to a certain extent leaving Kosovo dotted with ethnic segregation and a country that is only really multi-ethnic on paper.


Race and Ethnicity | Sociology

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