Attitudes towards neighbors of other races: The cases of Albania and Kosovo

Veronika V. Kostenko, Alexander A. Novik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article utilizes ethnological fieldwork data and sociological mass survey data to analyze attitudes of Albanians and Kosovo citizens (also Albanians ethnic-wise) towards people of other racial backgrounds. This interdisciplinary approach allows comparing overall levels of racial intolerance at Balkans and identifying individual characteristics that predict higher levels of racism. Simultaneously, rigorous fieldwork and interviewing adds much to this generalized picture by introducing real experience and explanatory paradigms of people who live at Balkans concerning racial “others” (in Simmelian sense). The racial issue at Balkans is theoretically appealing as most people live, and have always lived, in racially homogeneous neighborhoods (with the only experience of exposure to interracial contact in the times of Albanian-Chinese friendship in 1961–1971). Thus, the question of their readiness to live in racially-mixed neighborhoods becomes a proxy for openness to any unknown “others”. We show that in Albania, which used to be isolated for decades, the level of intolerance towards any group of “other” is very high. In Kosovo, which used to be a part of more open Yugoslavia, the attitudes are significantly more tolerant. However, in Kosovo those attitudes to “others” are still worse than in all the other former Yugoslavian republics, which is likely to be an effect of a recent violent inter-ethnic conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-127
Number of pages28
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Albania
  • European Values Study
  • Kosovo
  • Multidisciplinary research
  • Neighbors in Europe
  • Racism


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