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Title: Albanian law and nation-building in northern Albania and Kosovo
Author: Pritchard, Eleanor Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 5056 1404
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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My thesis explores the roles in Albanian nation-building of the Kanun of Lekë Dukagjin, an early-twentieth century codification of northern-Albanian customary practices, and the Pajtimi i Gjaqeve, a late-twentieth century movement to conciliate blood feuds in Kosovo. To understand them, we need to know: what both were, in their own terms; their significance; and how they relate to other aspects of nation-building, and comparative examples. I draw on participant-observation fieldwork, archive work and extensive interviews. Nation-building is necessarily complicated and the Albanian case particularly so. The existence of an Albanian nation was contested by neighbouring peoples, and its characteristics, by Albanians themselves. In this complex context, the text of the Kanun, and the Pajtimi i Gjaqeve, give us good insights into Albanian understandings of the nation, and associated nation-building activities, at pivotal points in national history. While the nation-building projects of the region had many elements in common, prominent ideas of a ‘national’ legal tradition are a distinctive aspect of the Albanian case. Both the Kanun of Lekë Dukagjin and the Pajtimi i Gjaqeve need to be understood as aspects of nation-building. In the context of a crumbling Ottoman Empire, by presenting Albanian customary practices in the form of a legal code, the Albanian codifier made claims about the contents and the people from whom they came. The Kanun demonstrated the existence of a distinct people with a tradition of self-governance and mediation; and made significant contributions to the crucial process of language standardisation. In the context of the 1990s break-up of Yugoslavia, ideas of an Albanian legal tradition re-emerged in Kosovo, in the Pajtimi i Gjaqeve which presented intra-Albanian disputes as national concerns, and drew on traditional values and customary practices to effect conciliations. Subsequently, the Movement itself has become a national resource, through reference to which important ideas about the nation are expressed.
Supervisor: Pirie, Fernanda Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social anthropology ; Socio-legal studies ; Political ideologies ; National identity ; Modern Britain and Europe ; Albania ; Albanian ; Kosovo ; Kosovar ; Kanun of Leke Dukagjin ; Pajtimi i Gjaqeve ; Blood Feud ; Gjecov ; Fishta ; Cetta ; Parallel State ; Conciliation ; Alternative Dispute Resolution ; Nation Building ; Customary Law