January 2005 - In November 2004, the US government recognized the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia. State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher described this as underscoring US commitment to "a permanent, multiethnic and democratic Macedonia within its existing borders." The recognition, on the eve of a potentially divisive referendum in the country, can be seen as belated acknowledgment of the achievement of Macedonia's political leadership since the country's declaration of independence in 1991. Despite economic and political pressure from its southern neighbor Greece, persistent military threat from Milosevic's Serbia to the north and high-profile tensions over the collective rights of Albanians within the country, which precipitated an armed insurgency in 2001, Macedonia has emerged as a candidate for EU membership, with all major political forces committed to interethnic accommodation and market democracy.
April 2000- The Balkans in general and Macedonia in particular have been characterized by widespread multi-lingualism. Ironically, while the term Balkanization has come to mean "fragmentation," the linguistic term Balkanism refers to shared grammatical and lexical features which originated through intense multi-lingual contact. Such contact could only have arisen under conditions of predominantly peaceful coexistence. Yet, although language served as a group marker, religion was a more important source of identity in Ottoman Turkey where it constituted the basis of an individual's millet ('nationality').
January 2003- This essay challenges the conventional wisdom that there are definite "lessons" to be drawn from NATO's war over Kosovo. To the contrary, the Kosovo intervention offers a number of compelling (and often contradictory) implications that should concern — and may even confound — serious analysts and policymakers. At best, the most reasonable conclusion in the after-math of the war is that the lessons of Kosovo are terminally ambiguous. While the intent here is not to promote a specific solution or set of policy recommendations, there does exist a broad problem-set of dynamics that were, and are, driving forces in the shaping, analysis and future direction of the European security architecture. Attempts to explain conflict that focus too narrowly on ethnic differences, or too broadly evoke human justice as grounds for intervention, will consistently miss the strategic mark.
February 1997 - The Yugoslav crisis demonstrates the importance of concerted international action to prevent or resolve conflicts before they turn violent. The community of democratic states, working through multilateral institutions, might prevent the outbreak of similar crises elsewhere by adopting a strategy of "preventive engagement" to promote the democratic development of new governments. Elements of such a strategy are already in place in Macedonia, where international actors are attempting to resolve the tensions between the Albanian and Macedonian ethnic communities.
January 2008 - The integration of Macedonia into the European Union and NATO becomes a more complex issue every day. The reasons behind this complexity can be found both within Macedonia and outside its borders. However, at this moment the chief issue seems to be the fact that EU member states—vigilantly protecting their own interests first—tend to disagree on many issues related to Macedonia's readiness to accede to the EU. This has significantly slowed down the process of reaching an agreement on Macedonia's swift integration into the European Union.
September 2001- The events of September 11, 2001 have pushed the crisis in Macedonia very much into the background of world affairs. Nevertheless, events there remain of crucial importance to stability in the Balkans. Macedonia's future is anything but clear. It faces the multiple threats of civil war, political and social disintegration, and economic disaster.
The extraordinary census of the summer of 1994 provides an opportunity to view both the complexity of the Macedonian scene, of which the Albanians are a part, and the role of European mediation more broadly. The 1994 Macedonian census raises fundamental issues of which the more recent conflicts such as those over education and language use at the federal level are continuations. It is also worthy of a more detailed account as a historical moment around which national and international tensions crystallized. As this paper finds, regardless of what the future holds for Macedonia, the 1994 census is one of the key links in the chain of events leading to that future.
The good news for Macedonia is that the current government, led by Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski (of the Social Democratic Union), has initiated a high-profile attack on corruption in the country. The Social Democrats (SDSM) and their Albanian coalition partners, Ali Ahmeti's Democratic Union for Integration (BDI), were elected in September 2002, on the heels of a damning report by the International Crisis Group (ICG). This document highlighted the serious levels of corruption in the country. Since taking the reins of power, the SDSM and BDI have launched a two-pronged strategy. One part involves clamping down on the activities of the Albanian mafia in western Macedonia. The other concerns prosecuting those who abused power in the previous government and setting forth new rules to increase the transparency and integrity of the government.
September 1998 - Grand narratives of Southeast European history can be objects of suspicion, especially when today's confrontations are traced into the past and dubbed as "ancient hatreds." The careful scholar who deconstructs such presentist approaches, however, faces another problem. Past national distinctiveness, when asserted by collective struggle, is a key asset in current political claims. By maintaining a neutral stance on a nation's history, a scholar may be branded as hostile to that nation.
March 2008 - Since the 1990s, an array of international organizations has devoted considerable time and energy to democracy promotion in the Western Balkans. A major strand of this work has comprised civil society assistance, increasingly targeted at the community level. Official evaluations of this work tend to emphasize quantitative indicators of increasing civic participation, reduced incidence of inter-ethnic violence and socio-economic progress. They tend not to portray the empirical realities of democratization, or the less tangible, longer-term impacts of such efforts. The ongoing research project described here aims to offer a longitudinal case-study in US civil society programming which combines academic and policy perspectives. Our goal is to examine closely and systematically the impacts and lessons from a single project, while factoring in the wider context.