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Research Report

Is there an Albanian question?

Judy Batt
Misha Glenny
Denisa Kostovicova
Nicola Mai
Nadège Ragaru
Fabian Schmidt
Miranda Vickers
Edited by Judy Batt
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2008
Pages: 111
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep07041
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 5-10)
    Judy Batt

    Is there an ‘Albanian question’? If so, what is it? Is it a traditional ‘national question’, centred on redrawing territorial borders to form a new ethnic nation-state: a ‘Greater Albania’ that would gather in all the Albanian communities in the Balkans? Many outside observers, in particular among the Albanians’ neighbours in the Balkans, see it that way and fear its destabilising consequences. They would argue that the Albanians already have a nation-state ‘of their own’ in present-day Albania, and see the prospect of a second – if Kosovo eventually achieves independence – as only the first step towards the political...

  2. (pp. 11-26)
    Miranda Vickers

    Pan-Albanian nationalism is far more layered and complex than the usual broad-brush characterisation of an ethnic Albanian programme simply bent on achieving a Greater Albania would have us believe. Albanian nationalism can indeed ultimately be defined in terms of irredentism: the reabsorption of all Albanian-speaking areas of the Balkans into a single state remains the core of the Albanian national programme. However, for all but a few extremists, contemporary political realities have significantly narrowed this goal into a pan-Albanian desire for the independence of Kosovo, and the removal of restrictions on cultural and economic cooperation between the various Albanian communities...

  3. (pp. 27-40)
    Fabian Schmidt

    The challenges Kosovo faces once its status has finally been resolved are manifold. Whatever the status outcome, there will remain challenges that politicians in Kosovo, in close cooperation with the international community (represented mainly by UNMIK, KFOR, the EU and OSCE as well as relevant international financial institutions) have been grappling with for the last eight years since the end of the war. These include building up an efficient public administration and a judicial system that serves all citizens in a transparent and responsive way, and strengthening central and local government institutions in all relevant fields. It includes the protection...

  4. (pp. 41-60)
    Nadège Ragaru

    In the July 2006 parliamentary elections, a majority of ethnic Macedonians voted for the right-wing Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO-DPMNE) in the hope that Macedonia would end a difficult chapter of its history. Since an Albanian armed insurgency erupted in February 2001, the political agenda had been dominated by interethnic issues. Early international involvement had prevented the armed confrontation from turning into a full-scale civil war. But the Ohrid Framework Agreement (FA) that put an end to violence on 13 August 2001, entailed major constitutional and institutional changes designed to redress imbalances between the ethnic Macedonian majority and the Albanian...

  5. (pp. 61-72)
    Nicola Mai

    Migration played a key role in the past and recent histories of Albania, Kosovo and FYROM and in sustaining their social and economic viability. Although these three settings share important demographic and socio-economic dynamics and are inhabited predominantly or significantly by Albanian populations, the way in which migration emerged and developed into the main strategy of survival within their separate post-communist trajectories cannot be understood as a pan-Albanian phenomenon, but needs to be contextualised within their different and related national histories. The present article will focus on the relationship between social and economic transformations and the emergence of migratory flows...

  6. (pp. 73-86)
    Denisa Kostovicova

    There is not just one Albanian diaspora; there are in fact many Albanian diasporas. The United States with some 400,000, Germany with some 300,000 and Switzerland with some 150,000 Albanians host the biggest established Albanian communities, while the new post-Communist ‘exodus’ of Albanians from Albania to neighbouring Greece and Italy has brought the number of Albanians there to some 500,000 and 200,000 respectively. Smaller communities are to be found in the Scandinavian countries, but also the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Austria, as well as Australia, New Zealand and China. By contrast, some 3 million Albanians are believed to live...

  7. (pp. 87-104)
    Misha Glenny

    For over a decade, south-eastern Europe’s reputation has been tarnished by accusations of the region’s alleged accommodation with organised crime. These accusations have provided grist to the mill of those arguing against the expansion of the European Union into south-eastern Europe. Supporters of Balkan accession treat the subject as an irritating distraction from the political process of integration. There has, however, been little examination of why organised crime has found the region such a fertile breeding ground for its activities, what the nature of its political and economic role is there, and, by implication, what might be done to reduce...