Territorialization, National Identity and «Imagined Geographies» in Albania
On the basis of this case study, the author constructs a theoretical model that captures the dynamic of domestic versus international constraints on elite choices and analyses how this leads to the (re)construction of borders. The book explores the way in which competing elites manipulate national symbols to create the necessary environment for personal political gain, using both expansionist and contractionist versions of «virtual» borders that may or may not be congruent with internationally recognized borders.
Chapter 6: Reimagining Territorial Landscape and Mental Borders in the Post-Communist and Democratic Transition Era
| 183 →
Reimagining Territorial Landscape and Mental Borders in the Post-Communist and Democratic Transition Era
– A nation? says Bloom. A nation is the same people living in the same place.
– By God, then, says Ned, laughing, if that’s so I’m a nation for I’m living in the same place for the past five years.
— JAMES JOYCE, Ulysses
This chapter traces the main socio-political discourse regarding the virtual shift of national borders in the post-communist years. Notwithstanding the globalization processes that seemed to erode national boundaries during this era, it also witnessed the reaffirmation of nation-state-based identities built on the congruence of national borders with the state unit. This concept has been redefined almost everywhere, in order to fit with the self-image of various national and ethnic groups (Kürti and Langman 1997: 3), as federations disintegrated and ethnic feelings were deliberately stirred up by elites to achieve political gain. In addition, foreign intervention has often altered the way that various minorities have tried to negotiate with their host countries in the new ideological vacuum that followed the early transition years. Scholars have recently been making attempts to understand the strategic use of emotion in the conflicts and interventions occurring in the Western Balkans over the last two decades. ← 183 | 184 → The logic of a “rational” Western intervention, using “material incentives (‘sticks and carrots’) to influence behavior”, has often stood in opposition to the emotion...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.