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7237 -- DIMOVA, ROZITA

Rights and size: Ethnic minorities, nation-states and the international community in past and present Macedonia
Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 131.2006:277-299
Keywords: census, minorities, nationalism, political rights, ethnic Macedonians, ideology and identity, majorities

##This paper discusses the role of past and recent censuses in shaping the political rights allocated to ethnic groups in Macedonia. Arguably, the Balkans are a model area for examining how political rights and ethnic groups have been stitched together, reformulated and redefined through different systemic and ideological shifts. I pay special attention to the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919, in which the great powers introduced a new nation-state regime that fostered the rise of ethno-nationalism in newly created states. From 1919 onwards, the relationship between ethnic majorities and minorities became the ground on which the international community interfered in the internal affairs of the newly-formed sovereign states created after the dissolution of the great empires that were defeated in World War II also discuss the period after 1991, which was marked by a re-configuration of political rights in newly independent Macedonia, especially in relation to the Albanian ethnic group. Ethnic Albanians, as the largest minority group in Macedonia, have based their demands for political rights on their numbers, a claim supported by the international community. As a result of this Albanian claim, censuses have become battlegrounds for political and ideological struggles between ethnic Albanians and majority Macedonians. Ironically, the crucial role played by the international community in negotiating the rights of ethnic groups within Balkan states is highlighted by the contrast between the international support enjoyed by ethnic Albanians after 1991 in Macedonia and the lack of international support accorded to ethnic Macedonians, who were a minority when Yugoslavia was created after World War II.##

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