Albania in Transition : Manipulation or Appropriation of International Norms
Title: Albania in Transition : Manipulation or Appropriation of International Norms
Author: ELBASANI, Arolda
Citation: Southeast European Politics, 2004, 5, 1, 24-44
This article seeks to uncover the impact of the EU in the Albanian political transformations. Approaching the EU impact on Albanian political reforms as a process of countrys socialization to the norms institutionalised in the European environment, this study dwells on both the external and domestic factors that determine the mechanisms of norm assertion in the domestic area. The first part specifies the set of external conditions and the intervening domestic variables that induce a logic of consequentiality or appropriateness in domestic change. The article proceeds to discuss the phenomena of European nannies to European neo-democracies. Finally, the study of the process of democratization in Albania illustrates the extreme case of a wider post-communist phenomenon: the Impact of EU is translated into a consequential logic of using the democratic rhetoric and adopting democratic institutions, which are used and abused by political actors loaded with the legacies bequeathed to them by the ancient regime. This article suggests that Albanian democratisation could have a different trajectory without the presence of the EU pushing for and directing reforms. Messages in the form of the EU reports, evaluations and critiques, which determine the progress in the contractual relations between EU and Albania, have became the signposts of change to the extent that they are the epicentre around which achievements and future challenges are debated and decided upon.
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