Positive and Negative Identity Satisfiers in the Kosovo Cont1ict
AbstractIn this article, the author examines the importance of identity as a sustaining factor in the continuing Kosovo confIict. Basic aspects of identity-based conflicts are reviewed, followed by a discussion about positive and negative identity satisfiers. A matrix comparing the identity needs of the Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo is presented, together with the current negative identity satisfiers that are sustaining the conflict, and a set of potential positive identity satisfiers that could help to resolve the conflict in the long-term. This review of the manifestations of unfulfilled identity needs reveals that the disputants share many similar concerns. This commonality is rarely mentioned in the literature on Kosovo, yet could serve as an important starting point for strategies of reconciliation. A regional peacebuilding plan that appreciates the importance of identity issues as conflict sources, possibly modelled after The Pact on Stability in Europe and other multinational stability-building efforts, is proposed, as are a set of potential regional efforts that are necessary if conflict resolution in Kosovo is to succeed.
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