Albania 25 years after communism: Rebuilding state and society

A quarter of a century ago, Albanians rose to overthrow a brutal dictatorship under the slogan “We want Albania to be like the rest of Europe!” A quarter of a century later, Albania has barely managed to gain the official EU candidate status after long and repetitive attempts.  One could argue that despite recent progress, Albania remains one of the laggards of EU integration and of transition in general. The challenges of building a full democracy, a functional market economy and of achieving the major milestone of becoming an EU member state remain difficult for the country and pace of progress uneven.

The 25th anniversary of the European dream of Albania constitutes an important moment of reflection regarding the status of the European project in Albania and the ways in which to further it. It is in the contexts of this critical juncture that AIIS proposes to engage the academic community, political decision makers, civil society representatives, the media and the opinion makers in an overall analysis of what has happened and what needs to happen still to complete the path of Europeanization.

It is equally important to contextualize the case of Albania with the developments of transition, post communist state development as well as European integration progress in the region, as well as bring in relevant comparisons from countries in Eastern and Central Europe.

In this framework, AIIS is organizing a series of activities, as listed below, to reflect upon the 25th anniversary of the fall of communism and the process of rebuilding state and society.

  • National poll to identify main issues and trends of democracy building, market economy operating and other societal issues such as progress on human rights protection. The poll will serve as a basis to build a policy paper highlighting the main projects that need to be completed and the way how to quicken the pace of EU integration from Albania.
  • Interviews with protagonist personalities of the transition days
  • International Conference. AIIS is interested to examine these 25 years from a dual perspective: theoretically from academics and experts on the transition paradigms, as well a practically from the viewpoint of current influential actors. AIIS will issue an international call for academic contributions for scholars all over the world that have analyzed developments in Albanian internal developments, foreign policy and will gather leading experts in a two day conference in Tirana.
  • Publication of selected papers and conference contributions in Albanian and English.
  • Targeted roundtables with international community of donors, students and journalists