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

By Vasiliki P. Neofotistos | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Claiming Respect

In this chapter, I examine how in the course of the armed conflict many of my Albanian research participants engaged in performances of respectable and “modern” selfhood during encounters with Macedonian state employees in positions of authority and during outings in downtown Skopje respectively. Drawing on the work of Jean and John Comaroff (1993), I treat these performances as rituals, that is to say as “a site and a means of experimental practice, of subversive poetics, of creative tension and transformative action” (xxix), “experimental technology intended to affect the flow of power in the [social] universe” (xxx). What I find in this theorization of ritual especially appealing for the purposes of my analysis is the ritual’s creative capacity, its ability to engender new, alternative possibilities for thinking about and acting in the world; in the words of the aforementioned authors (xxix): “under its [the ritual’s] authorship and its authority, individual and collective aspirations weave a thread of imaginative possibilities from which may emerge, wittingly or not, new signs and meanings, conventions and intentions.” The possibilities for thought and action emergent in the context of the performances explored here, subverted widespread, and made room for new social and moral arrangements and understandings in Macedonian society. Unfolding during a period of heightened political instability, these performances shed light on nonviolent tactics, alternative to the armed tactics of the NLA insurgents, to address the status of Albanians in Macedonian society.


Performing Respectability

For members of the Albanian community, the outbreak of the insurgency and the expansion of hostilities raised sharp concerns over the possibility

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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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