Russian and Albanian Nationalisms at the End of the 19th and Start of the 20th Centuries

articlespotlightIn today’s selection of past article we reflect on the difference a century makes to two of the nationalisms which cropped up in last week’s news: those of Russia and Albania. 

The Relevance of Kohn’s Dichotomy to the Russian Nineteenth-Century Concept of Nationalism Volume 8, Issue 3, pages 560–578, December 2008

This article challenges the common distinction between a Western and an Eastern type of nationalism with regard to Russian nationalism. Analysing the civic nationalism of the Decembrists and the cultural nationalism of the Slavophiles, it argues that the type of nationalism that appears in a specific country has more to do with timing than with place or social conditions. The article also suggests that intellectual thought should be studied in an international rather than a national context and that the world of ideas has to be granted a considerable degree of autonomy from socioeconomic conditions.

Fixing the Frontiers? Ethnography, Power Politics and the Delimitation of Albania, 1912 to 1914 Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 27–49, December 2005

The London Conference (1912–1913) of the ambassadors of the six European great powers, the Triple Entente of France, Russia and Britain, and the Triple Alliance (or Triplice) of Germany, Austria and Italy, was initially convened in an attempt to impose a settlement on the belligerents of the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 to prevent the Balkan conflict from escalating into a general European war. As part of this effort, the ambassadors had responsibility for delimitating Albanian+ boundaries. They decided to do this on the basis of ethnography, which for them meant language, specifically the mother tongue of the population or the language spoken within the family. However, the great powers were not entirely committed to these ethnic objectives and compromised them according to their own political interests, espousing ethnographical arguments only when they supported or reinforced their own strategic ones. This paper studies the socalled ‘fixing’ of Albanian frontiers during the Conference and subsequent boundary commissions. It examines the interests involved, arguments used and the problems faced. Furthermore, it discusses the reasons for the settlements. It evaluates the ethnographical basis of the frontiers established, and considers the resumption of Albanian frontier discussions during the First World War (1914–918) and at the Paris Peace Conference (1919–1920). The paper argues that the ‘fixing of Albanian frontiers’ promoted the objectives of the six European powers, as opposed to the ethnographic dimensions as professed.

About vessisr

A creative researcher and writer relentlessly powered by : coffee, news, cinema, walks with the pets and a fair amount of elbow grease. I like stories that get to the heart of the matter, to raw insight.
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