Rape in Kosovo: Masculinity and Serbian Nationalism

TitleRape in Kosovo: Masculinity and Serbian Nationalism
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsBracewell, Wendy
JournalNations and Nationalism
Date Published10/2000

Accusations of Albanian rape of Serbs in Kosovo became a highly charged political factor in the development of Serbian nationalism in the 1980s. Discussions of rape were used to link perceptions of national victimization and a crisis of masculinity and to legitimate a militant Serbian nationalism, ultimately contributing to the violent break-up of Yugoslavia. The article argues for attention to the ways that nationalist projects have been structured with reference to ideals of masculinity, the specific political and cultural contexts that have influenced these processes, and the consequent implications for gender relations as well as for nationalist politics. Such an approach helps explain the appeal of Milošević's nationalism; at the same time it highlights the divisions and conflicts that lie behind hegemonic gender and national identities constructed around difference.

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