The legendary commander: The construction of an Albanian master-narrative in post-war Kosovo

Authors: Di Lellio, A. and Schwandner-Sievers, S.

Journal: Nations and Nationalism

Volume: 12

Issue: 3

Pages: 513-529

eISSN: 1469-8129

ISSN: 1354-5078

DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8129.2006.00252.x


The ongoing, post-war construction of Albanian martyrs, memory and the nation in Kosovo has produced iconic tropes of militant resistance, unity and national independence. This critical interpretive account, based on years of the authors' ethnographic and political engagement with Albanians in post-war Kosovo, focuses on the making of a master narrative that is centred on the 'sublime sacrifice' of the insurgent KLA leader Adem Jashari, known as the 'Legendary Commander'. It also aims to trace voices of discord with this master narrative, testing contestations in terms of the rural-urban, political and gender divides in Kosovo-Albanian society. It concludes that the narrow international view of Albanians as either 'victims' or 'perpetrators' has contributed to the consolidation of this powerful narrative, its celebration of Albanian agency in militant resistance and the closing of public debate within Albanian society. © ASEN 2006.

Source: Scopus

Preferred by: Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers