The Risk of War: Everyday Sociality in the Republic of Macedonia

By Vasiliki P. Neofotistos | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
Critical Events

The 2001 armed conflict did not mark the first time that post-independence Macedonia and its people were confronted with high political instability, deriving from Macedonian and Albanian political struggles over the distribution of power in Macedonian society. During the 1990s, a series of critical events (in Veena Das’s use of the term; see 1995: 6), which disrupted everyday life and brought about new modes of sociopolitical action, took place. In what follows, I identify these key events and discuss each one of them as politically organized attempts to (re)define the categories and meanings of membership in post-1991 Macedonia: the 1991 Albanian boycott of the population census in Yugoslavia; the boycott of the referendum on Macedonian independence; the 1992 conduct among the Albanian community of a referendum on the political and territorial autonomy of Albanians in Macedonia; the 1992 deadly shooting in Bit Pazar; the 1994 extraordinary census; the 1994 public opening of the Albanian-speaking Tetovo University; and, the 1997 demonstrations in Gostivar.

Before delving into the main discussion, I first need to address sociopolitical developments during the socialist period, which set the stage for critical events to unfold in Macedonia after the dissolution of federal Yugoslavia.


The Socialist Period

The People’s Republic of Macedonia (proclaimed the Socialist Republic of Macedonia in the 1974 Constitution) was one of the smallest and most multiethnic republics of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia. According to the 1971 census (see Friedman 1996: 90), it had 1,647,308 inhabitants: 69.3 percent Macedonians, 17 percent Albanians, 6.6 percent Turks, 2.8 percent

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The Risk of War: Everyday Sociality in the Republic of Macedonia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Critical Events 15
  • Chapter 2 - The Eruption of the 2001 Conflict 37
  • Chapter 3 - Living in a Confusing World 47
  • Chapter 4 - Performing Civility 65
  • Chapter 5 - When the Going Gets Tough 84
  • Chapter 6 - Claiming Respect 101
  • Epilogue 118
  • Appendix - Ohrid Framework Agreement and the 2001 Constitutional Amendments 129
  • Abbreviations 153
  • Notes 157
  • Glossary 169
  • References 173
  • Index 193
  • Acknowledgments 203
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