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History of Communism in Europe

Volume 2, 2011

Avatars of Intellectuals under Communism

Nevena Dimova
Pages 227-255
DOI: 10.7761/HCE.2.227

Macedonian and Albanian Intellectuals and the National Idea(s) in Socialist Macedonia

This article looks at the relations between Macedonian and Albanian intellectuals and the communist party in the Republic of Macedonia. More specifically, it focuses on the creation and development of national program by Macedonian intellectuals within state structure. The article argues that during the socialist period the party policies and the socialist Macedonian intellectuals were supporting each other in the realization of their common goals: the establishment and consolidation of the Macedonian national program. It looks at intellectual production created by members of the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (MANU) to show how historiography and linguistics became the battlefields for the development of national ideology in Macedonia. Based on the establishment of these “invented” traditions, Macedonian scholars and socialist politicians made claims within Yugoslavia, but also internationally that Macedonians are a separate nation and that they have the right to an independent state after socialism. I show that Albanian intellectuals also developed an Albanian national program, only quietly and in the background. Simultaneously, the article argues that the Yugoslav policies of national determination, decentralization and self-expression reinforced ethnic differences in the country and assisted in the development of Albanian and Macedonian parallel national projects. The processes of inclusion and national consolidation, while excluding ‘the others’ from the national project, were legitimized and institutionalized by the creation of a national culture and politics by the intellectuals within the socialist state structures.