An eliticide or ‘national ‘decapitation’ – a systematic and deliberate targeting and mass extermination of a nation’s ‘ruling minority’– is a form of organised and state-perpetrated mass violence that, until recently, has been escaping the attention of historians and social scientists. Eliticides emerged in the 20th century as tools of social engineering and political conquest, primarily by Stalin and Hitler. The 1939-45 eliticide in Poland, conducted by the Nazi and Soviet invaders, not only weakened the resistance movement and undermined the social, political and moral order (thus opening the way for social pathologies), but also increased vulnerability to Soviet take over and fatally hindered the post-war social reconstruction of Poland. It resulted in the formation of a politically dependent and socially deracinated ‘quasi-elite’ with limited capacity for governing.
This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores how experiences in Kosovo have changed the discourse of European security. It provides new and stimulating perspectives on how 'Kosovo' has shaped European post-post-Cold War reality. The book aims to contribute to the insecurity of the field of security studies by sidelining the theoretical worldview that underlies mainstream strategic thinking on the Kosovo events. It investigates how 'Kosovo' has developed into this principal paradigmatic sign in the complex text of European security. The book also investigates how its very marginality has emphasised the unravelling fringes and limits of the sovereign presence of what 'Europe' thinks it stands for, and how it affects the discourse on European security.