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Mary Elizabeth Walters
Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS 66506-0100)
Hospitality is the Law of the Mountains: The 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis in Albania

Research and writing for completion of a book on the 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis in Albania

This project is the first historical account of the 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis. It focuses on the actions of the U.S. military and Albanians and how their efforts combined to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. The U.S. military’s approach was utilitarian and centered on logistics. Over the period of the crisis, however, military personnel came to know both Kosovar refugees and surrounding Albanian communities and adjusted their approach to better fit the needs of refugees and communities. Albanian communities and local governments, meanwhile, turned to the historic concept of mikpritja (hospitality) to understand why and how to help the Kosovar refugees, ultimately motivating Albanian families to shelter sixty-six percent of all refugees. This study provides insight into two very different approaches to mass migration and, as a result, gestures towards the rich potential of looking beyond the standard narratives of humanitarian aid and refugee assistance.

Project fields:
European History; Military History; U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/17/2021 – 4/30/2021