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Trans-Albanian vs. Pan-Albanian Spaces: The Urban Dimension of the 'Albanian Question'

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image of Southeastern Europe

This paper focuses on nationalism along Albanian-speaking European peripheries. Waves of organized violence, political turmoil, and powerful processes of demographic and socioeconomic transformation have changed the face of Albanian cities, thus modifying the physical and social landscape. The exploration of these dynamics aims to shed light on how the nexus that historically exists between the construction of an urban stronghold, the articulation of nationalist ideologies, and state-making processes is being re-defined in light of changing external conditions determined by Europeanization and globalization. Although evidence remains highly ambivalent, investigating such a dimension might be useful in detecting the emergence of an embryonic trans-Albanian national discourse, whose content does not necessarily coincide with traditional pan-Albanian constructs. Situated between transnational city networks and rearticulated through the EU perspective, the “Albanian question” is undergoing transformation that is much deeper than the nationalist canon is willing to admit. Disclosing new understandings of this magmatic historical process might pave new ways for political agency aiming at the sustainability of regional political processes.


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