The Role of Education for Identity Formation Among Albanians and Serbs of Kosovo: the Application of the Difference-Blinded Approach for Establishing Citizenship Regime in a Multi-Cultural Society


  • Ardian Kastrati University of Prishtina



education, identity, recognition, citizenship, multiculturalism


As a result of striving accession to the EU, all states in southeast Europe have as precondition to solve inter ethnic conflicts and to balance the system in a way that makes the relations between dominant group and minorities one of the mutual respect, based upon the principle of non discrimination. In Western Balkans some of the most controversial issues in the past decade have revolved around the educational rights. The fragile society of Kosovo faces many challenges, and the system of education is just one of them. The ongoing dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and painful process of state building often overshadows important educational issues. The educational system of Kosovo is segregated, extremely divisive and highly politicized. It is widely accepted that education has strong impact on individual’s identity formation. In this context ethnicity, nationality and citizenship constitute just a few of the possible identities within the individual’s self-conception being the most relevant to the relationship between citizen and the state. In the analyses of the theoretical foundations of multiculturalism the role of education in a culturally diverse society is very important for identity formation based on the concept of the citizenship as identity. By constitution Kosovo is a multicultural society but the meanings and expressions of this are contested both within the dominant Albanian majority and Serbian minority. Conceiving comprehensive discussions if Albanians and Serbs of Kosovo in the future could potentially accept to identify themselves through the citizenship of the new state before their ethnic and national based identities (cross linked with Albania respectively Serbia), it is a broad topic and beyond the scope of this paper, but for the purpose of this study the concept of the citizenship as identity is considered only in a narrower context - that of the role of education in identity formation