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Macedonia & Its Questions

Origins, Margins, Ruptures & Continuity


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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11. The Prespa Agreement & Misrecognition

11.The Prespa Agreement & Misrecognition


George Vlahov

LaTrobe University

The Prespa Agreement was signed by representatives of the governments of Macedonia and Greece on 17 June 2018. It was subsequently ratified by the parliaments of both countries. In Macedonia’s case, the ratification process was completed by 11 January 2019 and Greece followed on 25 January 2019. The Agreement was implemented by two centre left governments, led by SDSM in Macedonia and SYRIZA in Greece, respectively headed by Prime Ministers Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras.

In principle, it was expected to bring an end to a dispute between the two countries over the name of what was the Republic of Macedonia, which lasted over 25 years. The Macedonian government agreed, among other things, to change the name of the country it represents, from the Republic of Macedonia, to the Republic of North Macedonia.

The Agreement was greeted with almost universal praise from Western governments, the mainstream Western media, and, in particular, by Washington and Brussels.1 The Western media generally praised Zaev and Tsipras for successfully outmanoeuvring nationalists in their respective countries, who were opposed to the Agreement.

One way to understand the sociology of modernity is to note the development and spread of political, economic, and cultural structures that reject the prescribed hereditary limits to social mobility of pre-modern societies. In pre-modern Europe, the norm was that if one was born a serf or a noble, then one died the same. In...

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