Is interest in Kosovo on the decline among Serbian intellectuals?

What you see is a cover of 1985 book written by Dimitrije Bogdanović entitled “A Book About Kosovo”. The publication of this book restored an enormous interest among Serbian intellectuals in what was going on in the Kosovo Autonomous Province at the time. Ever since, Serbian politics has been characterized by Kosovomania, an obsession with what many Serbs believe to be the cradle of the Serbian nation, some kind of “holy land” soaked with blood of heroes from the Kosovo Battle fought in 1389. How this played out in Serbian politics before, during and after Milošević has been thoroughly studied. However, very few scholars have investigated how did this Kosovomania impact the production of knowledge in Serbia over the decades.

By using COBISS.SR database I have made a small quantitative study of the number of Kosovo related bibliographical records in Serbian language between 1970 and 2011. Unsurprisingly the number of Kosovo related publications increased steadily from 1329 in the 70s, to 2420 in the 80s skyrocketing to 7443 in the 1990s. The most productive years were 1991 with 1099 publications and 1998 with 1070 publications. However, since the fall of Milošević and democratic changes in 2000 the number of publications about Kosovo is in a sharp decline. In comparison to the 1990s the intellectual production about Kosovo in the first decade of the 21st century halved to a total of 3305 records. In the year 2011 the production declined even further to a record low 176 bibliographical records thus going back to mid 70s level.

What does this say about Serbian intellectual obsession with Kosovo? Of course, not much substantively because this is only a quantitative analysis (and a very basic one). However, what this definitely does show is a decreasing level of interest in Kosovo among Serbian intellectuals, for good or for bad. It could also be a starting point for a more qualitative research into what Serbian intelligentsia make of Kosovo today.

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