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Contested Borders

Territorialization, National Identity and «Imagined Geographies» in Albania

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Ilir Kalemaj

This book argues that power struggles between internal and diasporic elites play a central role in the development of political agendas that have the potential to shift national borders. The author uses Albania as the primary case study, examining how the understanding of the Albanian nation has taken on varying geographical borders over time and why different Albanian communities have often had differing perceptions of the borders of the nation.
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.
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Extract



1. Summary of competing theories and how they inform virtual borders in the Albanian case.

2. Predictions for border outcomes from proclamation of sovereignty in 1912 to the First World War.

3. Predictions for border outcomes among the Albanian kin from proclamation of sovereignty in 1912 to the First World War.

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