The Elements of Political Religion in the Post-conflict Society of Kosovo

Mexhit Shaqiri


This paper explores the ethnonationalist narrative that was built in post-conflict Kosovo from 1998-1999. In this discursive period, Kosovo Albanians used the vocabulary, rhetoric and images of early Albanian nationalism borrowed from the European nationalism from the times of the world wars. Among them, the discourse of political religion occupies the central position in which political and historical events undergo a process of sacralization, and these events thus assume the characteristics of a mystic reality. The Kosovan narrative of the Kosovo Liberation Army and its key figures bear all the elements of a developing political religion. This paper analyses the fundamental ideas of this narrative, starting with the general concept of political religion elaborated by various authors from the field of philosophy and social sciences and then contextualizing this concept within Albanian nationalism to finally analyse its re-emergence in nationalistic mythology that was built in post-conflict Kosovo.


Ethnonationalist narrative, political religion, sacralization, mystic reality, the Kosovo Liberation Army

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