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SAS events at ASEEES Annual Convention

The Society for Albanian Studies is pleased to announce a number of events to be organized at the ASEEES 2014 Convention in San Antonio, Texas, November 20-23rd.

The events include a sponsored panel as well as a number of SAS-related panels and roundtables. The SAS business meeting will also be held during the ASEEES 2014 Convention, on Friday, November 21st.

SAS-sponsored panel at ASEEES 2014:

Electoral Change and Democratic Consolidation in Albania and Kosovo

Fri, November 21, 8:00 to 9:45am, Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 2

The 2013 national elections in Albania and the 2013 municipal elections in Kosovo have marked distinct but important milestones in the consolidation of democratic institutions and the enhancement of political stability in the two states. This panel debates the process and outcome of the 2013 elections in the consolidation of democratic institutions, the role of changing electorates, the realignment of elite politics, and the impact of the elections and their aftermath on EU integration in the region.

Chair: Nicholas C. Pano, Western Illinois U

Papers:

The 2013 Parliamentary Elections in Albania: A Real Milestone for Democratic Institutions or More of the Same? – Ioannis Armakolas, U of Cambridge (UK); Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos, University of Athens

Near and Far: A Comparative View of the Institution of the Elections in Albania and Kosovo – Afrim Krasniqi, Albanian Institute of Sociology

In Internationals We Trust: Elections Monitoring Missions in Albania and Kosovo and their Reports – Marta Joanna Kolczynska, Ohio State U

Discussant: Elez Biberaj, Voice of America

Other SAS-related panels and roundtables at ASEEES 2014

Beyond Transition: New Approaches to Understanding Contemporary Society and Economy in Kosovo and Albania

Thu, November 20, 1:00 to 2:45pm, Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, Hospitality Suite 4

The panel showcases papers which perform critical analyses of current and historical institutions, critical cultures, and practices of power in Kosovo and Albania. Moving beyond standardized historical narratives of transition, nationalism, and ethnic conflict which inform much of the scholarship on the region, this panel offers critical analyses of energy politics, the role of intellectuals, gender relations, and the subversive appropriation of public space by activist art. Jointly, the papers offer alternative frameworks for understanding contemporary society, economy, culture and historical social change in the two societies.

Chair: Anna Di Lellio, The New School for public engagement

Papers:

Notes Toward a Critical Intellectual History of Kosovar Political Thought: The Case of Ukshin Hoti – Gent Carrabregu, Northwestern University

And Then There Came Gas: Pipeline Development, Fossil Fuels and the Everyday of Albanian Energy Politics – Ajkuna Hoppe, CUNY Graduate Center

Everyday Aesthetics of Power: Urban Space, Art and Publics – Nita Luci, University of Prishtina (Kosovo)

Discussant: Besnik Pula, Princeton U

Parties, Elections, and Democratic Accountability: Comparative Perspectives on Southeast Europe

Sat, November 22, 10:00 to 11:45am, Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 3

This panel debates the role of political parties and elections in creating democratically accountable governments and states in the transitioning societies of southeast Europe, with a particular focus on Kosovo. What role does voter mobilization and voter activism play in the enactment of democratic accountability? How effective is the interaction between political parties and electorates and what are the consequences of this for the democratic process? How successfully does democratic accountability translate into concrete and effective policies in the fight against corruption and the provision of public goods?

Chair: Besnik Pula, Princeton U

Democratic Consolidation and Anti-Corruption Reform in Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia – Elton Skendaj, University of Miami

Kosovo’s Political Compass: Mapping Ideology in Kosovo – Leon Malazogu, Democracy for Development Institute (D4D)

Low Voter Turnout and Political Culture in Kosovo – Dafina Bardhi, Loyola University Chicago

Discussant: Anna Di Lellio, The New School for public engagement

Social Emergences, Cultural Formations: A Study of Marginalization and Identity Politics in post-Communist Southeastern Europe

Sun, November 23, 8:00 to 9:45am, Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, 3rd Floor, Grand Ballroom Salon D

This panel examines the precarious nature of identity and belonging in post-communist landscapes. Specifically each of the papers focuses on minority communities and groups in Southeastern Europe. The term ‘minority’ itself is complex and contested, and highlights frictions within processes of identity formation. Since the early 1990s many individuals in the Balkans have negotiated and renegotiated cultural forms such as assimilation and difference in new ways. These negotiations are fraught with tensions that play out through inherited and newly constructed narratives of imagined communities. These frictions are further underscored by nationalist ideologies, European Union discourses of socioeconomic and political transformation, as well as rhetoric of tolerance and multiculturalism. We aim to interrogate these sociocultural tensions in order to shed light on the complexities of belonging, prejudice, and marginalization embedded within everyday practice and discourse.

Chair: Ajkuna Hoppe, CUNY Graduate Center

Papers:

‘They took our hearth’: Covert Prestige and Overt Marginalization of the Aromanian Language in Macedonia – Eric Heath Prendergast, UC, Berkeley

Social Mobility and Identity Politics: A Focus on Nationalist Programs of Greece and Romania as Powerful Mechanisms for the Assimilation of Albanian Aromanians of Voskopoja – Inis Shkreli, Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of European Studies, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Slippery Categories and the Construction of Difference: A Study of Belonging and Racial Formation in Tirana, Albania – Chelsi West, University of Texas at Austin

Discussant: Nita Luci, University of Prishtina (Kosovo)

Conditionality and Conditions: Requirements and Realities in the EU-Balkan Relations (roundtable)

Thu, November 20, 1:00 to 2:45pm, Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 8

EU Conditionality has been applied for years to post-socialist transitional countries in order to prepare them for membership. This policy has been also implemented and further reinvigorated when the time for SEE came. However, the conditions under which the policy of conditionality has been defined dramatically changed after the 2004 enlargement, and they are still evolving, as we saw in the case of Croatia (which meanwhile joined the EU) and Serbia, which is going to start negotiations soon. Furthermore, the conditions that impact on the EU conditionality strategy appear to be different when Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, and Macedonia are concerned. Therefore, the proposed round table aims to investigate and discuss the relationship between the evolving conditions (at the international and local levels), and the strategy of EU conditionality in support of democracy, market economy, and prospective membership in SEE both during negotiations and when the candidate country has joined the full membership (as in the case of Croatia) in the current Western Balkan context. Given the peculiarity of the suggested topic and the need to offer a more accurate and updated analysis to the audience, the roundtable format better serves these aforementioned needs.

Organizer: Francine Friedman, Ball State U

Roundtable Members:
David B. Kanin, Johns Hopkins U
Stefano Bianchini, U of Bologna (Italy)
Julie Mostov, Drexel U
Sara Barbieri, Europe and the Balkans International Network