HONOURABLE MENTION: Diaspora Discontent: Canada and the Kosovo Crisis


  • Krenare Recaj


In 1999, Canada participated in NATO’s Operation Allied Force, a 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia which was meant to end the ethnic cleansing of Kosovar Albanians. Officially, humanitarian, and regional stability considerations were the interests underlying Canada’s foreign policy towards Kosovo. However, primary sources reveal that diaspora discontent was another strategic interest and concern of Canada during the Kosovo War. As Canada continued to accept immigrants, the demographics of the country changed fostering a strategic interest in understanding the role cultural communities play in times of peace, and especially also in times of war. This article analyzes the role of the Serbian-Canadian and Albanian-Canadian communities in Canada during the Kosovo War which is used as a case study for the importance of understanding the role of diaspora communities within Canada.


Author Biography

Krenare Recaj

Krenare is a M.A. student in History at the University of Waterloo who will graduate in June 2021.  Krenare has successfully defended her M.A. thesis on the history of Canada’s foreign affairs with Kosovo, which focused on domestic issues that influenced Canada’s foreign policy. Krenare has been accepted to the Ph.D. History program at Carleton University and will begin her doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Laura Madokoro in September 2021. Krenare is the recipient of a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship which officially begins September 2021. Her current research interests include the history of Canadian Foreign Affairs and Canada’s history with Kosovo. More broadly, Krenare is interested in overlooked factors in Canada’s foreign policy decision-making. Krenare Recaj graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.A. with distinction in 2019, with a double major in History and Religious Studies, and a minor in Mennonite Studies.

As an undergraduate student, Krenare won six awards for excellence in the study of history, promoting heritage and culture in the community, leadership, and volunteerism. As a graduate student, Krenare won four awards, published two book reviews, and presented at five conferences. Krenare has been employed as a Heritage Researcher and Resource Developer for the Region of Waterloo, as a Gallery Interpreter and History Teacher at the Waterloo Region Museum, and as Research and Teaching Assistant. Krenare is committed to the study of history, both within and outside of academia, and believes that overlooked events are often underestimated in importance.






Annual National Student Award Competition