Between the internal and external 'other': de-constructing Macedonian national identity
Project dates: February 2010 - June 2011
From February 2010 Analytica is a partner in the Regional Research Promotion Program (RRPP) established with the aim to advance research in the social sciences in the Western Balkans countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. This partnership programme was created through a wide consultation process involving well‐respected researchers and research institutions from the region, Switzerland and other European countries.
Analytica is implementing a research project aiming to examine the dynamics of national identity (re)construction in Macedonia. As the name-dispute with neighbouring Greece intensified, discussions over the name, language and national identity (re)surfaced and all but dominate the public arena. This development requires input from the social sciences and invites researchers to contribute to a debate with wide policy and societal ramifications. Despite its popularity, national identity as a concept has not been approached from a social science perspective so far. Rather, scholars and politicians used it as a means to mobilise masses and rally support for political projects of different nature, leading to populist and nationalist politics. Macedonia's foreign policy is structured by a specific view of national identity, which has serious consequences for the country's political and economic development. The current dominant view of Macedonian national identity also affects domestic policy towards minorities, thus problematising the country's security and democracy. Therefore, looking into how the boundaries and identity markers of Macedonian national identity were forged vis-à-vis the internal (minorities) and external (neighbours) 'Other' will allow us a rare insight into the laboratory where knowledge, discourse and political power intertwine. The project will result with a study of the dynamics of construction and re-construction of Macedonian national identity in the last two decades, with an emphasis on the name-dispute with Greece and interethnic relations with Albanian minority.
Between the internal and external 'Other'