Barbullushi, Odeta (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis explores the shifts and continuities in the construction of security in the post-communist period. The thesis provides an insight into the reasons and the ways in which the dominant discourse of security and foreign policy of the Albanian state shifted in 1997 from a an emphasis on the ‘nation’ and ‘national sovereignty’ into a liberal discourse which emphasized the ‘economy’ and the ‘region’. The overarching question of the thesis is why did the Euro-Atlantic orientation become the hegemonic discourse of Albanian foreign and security policy in the post-1997 period? In order to find the answer for this question I will concentrate on the meanings that the Albanian political elites—and more specifically the two main governing parties, the Democratic Party and the Socialist Party— have attached to the notions of ‘national question’ and ‘Euro-Atlantic orientation’. The argument of the thesis is that the different articulations of ‘Euro-Atlantic orientation’ and of the ‘national interest’ have relied upon the elites’ different conceptions of self, that is, what constituted Albanianism. In turn, the political actors translate the basic identity narratives of the nation through their ideological/interpretative repertoires. The thesis builds on Discourse Theory and particularly the approach developed by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (1985) By incorporating notions of ‘identification strategies’, ‘interpretative repertoires’ and ‘myth’ into the framework of Lene Hansen and Ole Waever (2001), the thesis reveals the intricate interplay between the construction of state identity and of political identities in post-communist Albania.
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