The Tragedy of Kosovo: A Contemporary analysis of the factors leading up to the widespread ethnic violence in the Kosovo Province of Yugoslavia

Document Type


Publication Date



Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Gary Prevost, Political Science


The question that is raised is what factors led up to the widespread ethnic violence in the Kosovo Province of Yugoslavia? In addition, who is to blame for this tragic succession of events that eventually unfolded? In the West, we usually only hear or read one perspective, that of the United States government. Were the Serbian people to blame for the tragic events of Kosovo or does some of the blame lie with the Ethnic Albanian inhabitants of Kosovo? Finally, what role did the politics and policies of Serbian nationalist Slobodan Milosevic play in the outbreak of violence in Kosovo?

Before its savage civil war and break up in the early 1990s, what we in the West officially recognized as Yugoslavia was a nation that was established in the aftermath of World War I. True of many lands or nations, Yugoslavia was a land of major diversity. Not only were the people diverse in cultural identity, but also religious identity. The creation of Yugoslavia allowed within the same country a polyglot range of people, including Serbs from Serbia and closely related Montenegrins from Montenegro, Croats, Slovenians, Muslim Bosnians, Herzegovinians, Macedonians, Albanians, and others.

Kosovo, a province in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is a land of great beauty and majesty with picturesque mountain landscapes and lush green valleys. By June of 1998 this picturesque heaven had de-evolved into a maelstrom of hell. What had once resembled a beautiful countryside speckled here and there with an occasional village became a visage of a level from Dante's Inferno.