Greener Journal of Social Sciences

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Greener Journal of  Social Sciences Vol. 2 (6), pp. 213-221, December 2012

  ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 GJSS

Research Paper

Manuscript Number:110112195


War and Myth: The Might of Myth in the Kosovo War (1999)


Chuka Enuka

Department Of History and International Studies,
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria

Email: chukaenuka @


This paper concentrates on the connectedness between myth and war. It pictures myth as a causal explanation for war, and mirrors myth’s might and roles in erupting and exacerbating the war in Kosovo in 1999. Myths are often related to situations where people seek to construct, legitimize and contest their social identities and ownerships. Most societies are held together by myth-system. Within such systems, foundation myths purport to explain the origins and destiny of a nation. Although they may be false in significant ways, foundation myths are usually accepted uncritically by people. They tell dramatic stories about a nation’s sacred history and this serves as the exemplary model for all significant political activities. Though the Kosovo War is traced to problematic factors that are many and mixed, but from all available indications, part of the factors for the war can be understood from the perspective of contending and competing mythological recounting by the Kosovo-Serbs and Kosovo-Albanians of their past. Both sides’ arguments for right over Kosovo are based on a complex interpretation of mythological details. The big question that begs to be addressed is how to reconcile the two diametrically opposing mythical interpretations of historical and legal developments in Kosovo. The finding of this paper is that the failure to achieve a harmonization of the two mythological accounts exacerbated the hotly contested indignity question, leading Kosovo and its occupants to a catastrophic war that claimed several thousands of lives. 

KEYWORDS: War; Myth; Inter-ethnic Conflict; Kosovo Liberation Army; State Fragmentation

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