This article offers a broad analysis of the “name issue,” its origins, background and the challenges ahead in light of the Prespa agreement. It posits the historical perspective of both identities, assesses the positions maintained by the parties during the political and diplomatic dispute settlement process and presents the concerns of both parties regarding the agreement. Given the content of the Prespa agreement, the article aims at mapping its essential theoretical frame, explaining the key arrangements in the Prespa agreement and identifying the challenges associated with its implementation that might stand in the way of the accomplishment of its purported “historic” mission of settling the long-lasting disagreements between the two parties, offering some recommendations in that respect.
This article focuses on the relation between EU leverage and domestic elites related to the differential impact of conditionality in the case of the Republic of North Macedonia. The main focus is on the influence of the low credibility of the membership perspective on the effectiveness of EU political conditionality in North Macedonia. Additionally, it examines to what extent the legitimacy of the process is determined by domestic factors. The domestic political elites strategically raise the domestic costs to the level where Europeanization becomes a highly costly process and external influences such as political isolation or rewards given in the process seem to have very weak results. The article introduces the concept of the “leverage trap” – a political discourse devised by domestic political elites apropos the EU, in turn used to increase the leverage of political elites domestically and to present the EU as an impotent actor.
This article aims to map and periodize memory regimes in North Macedonia, with the divergent set of Ilinden commemorations epitomizing the developments and critical changes in the period from 2001 to 2018. Ilinden is still by and large considered to be pivotal for Macedonian nation-building, structuring the long Macedonian 20th century and serving as the most prominent state holiday. The commemorative narratives, understood as political strategies with the aim of taking a position towards and interpreting the past, establish a set of patterns, groups or trajectories which will be argued to be principal in the creation of official memory in North Macedonia. Herein, the set of 18 Republic Day/Ilinden commemorations will be reconstructed, triangulating the analysis of Macedonian media outlines, institutional discourses and political rhetoric, and finally, it will be discussed as a tripartite periodization model, drawing upon the theoretical framework offered by Kubik and Bernhard (2014).
This article analyzes the conditions and challenges for security sector reform (ssr) in Macedonia since 2001. One of the main pressures which the Western community has been able to wield for reform and for post-conflict normalization in Macedonia has been the conditional offer of integration into key Western organizations – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (nato) and the European Union (eu). In the absence of a widespread domestic consensus, the sustainability of ssr relies on the leverage that nato and the eu can bring to bear. But, with no date to begin negotiations with the eu and with the Greek veto to Macedonia entrance to nato, what can happen to ssr in the country? Moreover, how can local ownership of ssr be cultivated in Macedonia where the international community has played the lead role in initiating reform? Addressing ssr developments in Macedonia, the article surveys the challenges in two key component areas of the country’s security sector – armed forces and police – arguing that, without clear perspectives of joining nato or the eu in the near future, ssr in Macedonia is seriously compromised.