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Contested StatehoodKosovo's Struggle for Independence$
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Marc Weller

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566167

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566167.001.0001

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Background to the Crisis

Background to the Crisis

Chapter:
(p.25) 2 Background to the Crisis
Source:
Contested Statehood
Author(s):

Marc Weller (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566167.003.0002

This chapter sets the Kosovo crisis within the broader historical background of the dissolution of Yugoslavia, tracing the evolution of Kosovo's status from its position as a ‘quasi republic’ under the 1974 Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, through Serbia's ascendancy within the overall Yugoslav project during the 1980s, to the consequent purported arrogation of Kosovo's autonomy and the latter's subordination to the Serbian republic. It then examines the Kosovar response to these developments, notably, the declaration of independence by its elected assembly in September 1991, and the popular election of a de facto government under the leadership of Ibrahim Rugova and Bujar Bukoshi. Central to this historical analysis is an understanding that tensions in the region between ethnic Albanians and Serbians were fuelled by hard political interests, and not by long-standing identity issues.

Keywords:   Yugoslavia, Serbia, autonomy, republic, constitution, ethnic Albanian, sovereignty, independence

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