Patterns of conflict resolution in the Republic of Macedonia

ABSTRACT: The Macedonian case shows how strong ethno-national identities, ethnic distinction and division became conflict-generating only with change to a new nation-state form, and violent only with transnational population movements which threatened radically to change the internal power balance. Conflict was a product of ethnic exclusion, but not simply a function of internal nation-state interests in exclusion. Even more it was a function of the wider regional instabilities, regional economic problems and regional population movements which incentivise exclusion. It shows too how settlement may be reached by reliance on international organisations to oversee and ensure state reform towards greater inclusion, in this case by making it a condition of EU and NATO membership. Throughout we make clear the radically conflicting interpretations of events and processes, attempting, through a “levels of analysis” approach (see Cordell and Wolff, 2009: 6-10) to take account at once of ethnic Macedonian, ethnic Albanian and international perceptions and interpretations.