Accepted paper:

What is safe and what is sorrow? Home, Family and State in Post-war Kosovo

Author:

Elife Krasniqi (Center for Southeast European History)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses the dynamics of domestic sphere, home and the private, which denote family; in relation to laws, social security and the public which is seen as the state, in transitional period after the war in 1999 in Kosovo.

Paper long abstract:

The period of post-war in 1999 in Kosovo, marks big transformations in many spheres of society. Kosovo society has undergone through political turbulent times, and had had a long time since experienced social certainty and security. Nevertheless, for Albanians in Kosovo, family provided solidarity, social security and social cohesion. The changes that happen in transitional period in Kosovo indicate that this stable space of home, which signifies family and household, has become increasingly questioned. This is most vividly seen, when family is the source of physiological and physical violence. Because of the inefficiency of state in implementing existing laws, mistrust in courts and judges, these issues very often are settled within the family, according to remnants of Customary Law. This also because, domestic tensions are seen to belong in the domestic sphere, as such private and away from the eye and ear of the public, this is also the state. The general discourse about home and family is romanticized and very often nationalized. While home was always the safe space, with the creation of shelters for women victims of domestic violence in beginning of 1990s, safety moved to shelters that did not belong to family, fathers and brothers. This paper discusses the dynamics of domestic sphere, home and the private, which denote family; in relation to laws, social security and the public which is seen as the state. The findings used for this paper are part of the preliminary research stage, conducted in south Kosovo and capital Prishtina, during 2011 and 2012.

panel W041
Regulating uncertainty: anthropological approaches to spaces of uncertainty in and of law [EN & FR]