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Macedonia & Its Questions

Origins, Margins, Ruptures & Continuity

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Edited By Victor A Friedman, Goran Janev and George Vlahov

Macedonia and its Questions: Origins, Margins, Ruptures and Continuity is a multi-disciplinary book of 11 chapters, containing contributions that span the fields of linguistics, political science, sociology, history and law. The title of the book purposefully references but simultaneously interrogates and challenges the idea that certain nation-states and certain ethnicities can in some way constitute a "question" while others do not. The "Macedonian Question" generally has the status of a problem that involves questioning the very existence of Macedonians and one of the aims of this volume is to reframe the nature of the discussion.

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Introduction

Introduction

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Victor Friedman, Goran Janev & George Vlahov

Our title purposefully references but simultaneously interrogates and challenges the idea that certain nation-states and certain ethnicities can in some way constitute a “question” while others do not. It is for this reason that we put Macedonia in possession of its questions in our title. What makes Macedonia so contested can be answered by questioning those who would be the questioners. Our aim in this volume is to reframe the terms of investigation. The “Macedonian Question” generally has the status of a problem along with and among its immediate and more distant neighbours. Even the most casual Google search, if properly phrased, can give a sense of the spirit of our times. It also confirms what one might expect: If one types in the first four or five results vary across a specific spectrum, depending on which ethnicity, region, nationality, or nation-state one types in as [X]. At one end of the spectrum are references that question whether the entity should or even does exist, and if so, who should own it. Here, “Macedonian” is joined by entities such as “Albanian”, “Bessarabian”, and, if one goes far enough back in time, “Bulgarian”, and even further back “French” and “German”. Tellingly, a search concerning “the Greek question” leads one first to articles asking “Where’s the money going to come from?” but not whether “Greek” is a language, ethno-national identity, etc.1 By contrast, the other end of the...

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