Rethinking Serbian-Albanian Relations : Figuring out the Enemy book cover
1st Edition

Rethinking Serbian-Albanian Relations
Figuring out the Enemy

ISBN 9781138574830
Published June 23, 2019 by Routledge
254 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Identifying and explaining common views, ideas and traditions, this volume challenges the concept of Serbian-Albanian hostility by reinvestigating recent and historical events in the region. The contributors put forward critically oriented initiatives and alternatives to shed light on a range of relations and perspectives.

The central aim of the book is to ‘figure out’ the problematic relations between Serbs and Albanians – that is, to comprehend its origins and the actors involved, and to find ways to resolve and deal with this enmity. Treating the hostility as a construct of a long-running discourse about the Serbian or Albanian ‘Other’, scholars and intellectuals from Serbia, Kosovo and Albania examine the origins, channels, agents and mediums of this discourse from the 18th century to the present. Tracing the roots of the two ethnic groups' political divisions, contemporary practices and actions allows the contributors to reconsider mutually held negative perceptions and identify elements of a common, shared history. Examples of past and current cooperation are used to offer a critical analysis of all three societies.

This interdisciplinary publication brings together historiographical, literary, sociological, political, anthropological and philosophical analyses and enquiries and will be of interest to researchers in the fields of sociology, politics, cultural studies, history or anthropology; and to academics working in Slavonic and East European studies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Forging the Enemy: the Transformation of Common Serbian-Albanian Traits into Enmity and Political Hostility

Aleksandar Pavlović

Chapter 2 – Producing Old Serbia: in the Footsteps of Travel Writers, on the Path of Folklore

Srđan Atanasovski

Chapter 3 – "Reconquista of Old Serbia"

On the Continuity of Territorial and Demographic Policy in Kosovo

Vladan Jovanović

Chapter 4 The Burden of Systemic Legitimization in Socialist Yugoslavia: Discursive Reduction of Kosovo Protests

Marjan Ivković, Tamara Petrović Trifunović and Srđan Prodanović

Chapter 5 Seeing Each Other: Nesting Orientalisms and Internal Balkanism among the Albanians and South Slavs in the Former Yugoslavia

Atdhe Hetemi

Chapter 6 – Conflicted Narratives: The 1998-1999 Kosovo War in History Textbooks in Kosovo and Serbia

Shkëlzen Gashi

Chapter 7 – Figure of the Other as an Open Project: Literary Works of Albanian Authors from Albania and Kosovo Translated in Serbia

Saša Ćirić

Chapter 8 – We, Sons of the Nation: Intellectuals as Generators of Albanian and Serbian National Ideas and Programs

Rigels Halili

Chapter 9 – The Symbolism of Impotence: Intellectuals and Serbian-Albanian Relations in the Post-Yugoslav Period

Gazela Pudar Draško

Chapter 10 – Serbian-Albanian Mixed Marriages: When Patriarchy Breaks Nationalist Barriers

Armanda Hysa

Chapter 11 – Cultural Heritage in Kosovo:

Strengthening Exclusion through Inclusive Legislation

Jelena Lončar

Chapter 12 – "Face to Face:" Serbian-Albanian Cultural Cooperation in the Media

Ana Birešev

Chapter 13 – The Community of the Dispossessed: Women's Peace Coalition

Adriana Zaharijević


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Aleksandar Pavlović is a researcher at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory of the University of Belgrade. He obtained his PhD in Southeast European Studies from the University of Nottingham, and got his BA and MA in Comparative literature and literary theory from the University of Belgrade. He published Epika i politika, and co-edited Politics of Enmity: Can Nation Ever be Emancipatory (2018) and a volume on Serbian-Albanian relations in Serbian and Albanian.

Gazela Pudar Draško works as a Research Associate at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade. She was a visiting researcher at the Centre for Southeast European Studies in Graz and the Centre for East European Studies in Warsaw. She writes on the intellectual engagement, movements and gender.

Rigels Halili is an assistant professor at Centre for East European Studies at University of Warsaw. He has studied philology, cultural anthropology and international relations at the University of Warsaw, where he has also earned his PhD. His research interests include orality and literacy, especially in the Balkans, history of modern nationalism, interaction between memory and culture, and normative customary practices in the Balkans and Central Europe. His latest research project was focused on social and cultural memory of communism in Central and South-east Europe. He published a monograph based on his PhD dissertation in 2012 and co-edited four books in Polish, Serbian and Albanian.




"Each contribution to this volume provides scholarly insights in particular aspects of the history shared by Serbs and Albanians. Together, these essays constitute a powerful antidote to the contamination of much existing scholarship by the biases and hostility of political elites, and by popular prejudice." - Anna Di Lellio, New York University, US

"Some years ago Julie Mertus explained the conflict over Kosovo as a story of "how myths and truths started a war." But which are the myths and which are the truths? The wide gulf of interpretation has usually meant that the answer depends on who you ask. This project asks the best analysts on both sides of the divide, and the result is a set of deep and provocative parallel analyses by Serb and Albanian historians and social scientists, shedding light on different ways in which the past is understood, and whether different interpretations share common ground. This book is essential to anybody wanting to understand conflict over Kosovo and the possibility of dialogue around Kosovo." - Eric Gordy, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UK