Democratic transitions in new multiethnic states: Case comparison of Macedonia and Montenegro
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CitationKriještorac, M. (2013). Democratic Transitions in new Multiethnic States: Case Comparison of Macedonia and Montenegro. İZÜ Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 1(2), 37-69.
The democratic transitions in multiethnic states are particularly challenging, especially at the time of the emergence of new states. The examples of the two such states Macedonia and Montenegro, provide the possibility to observe how those democratic and stateness transitions could be more or less successful. Both new transitional states had to deal with the significant ethnic Albanian factor, which looms large in several regional countries. Through the process-tracing method, this paper compares the impact of that factor in the political transitions of Macedonia and Montenegro by utilizing the most similar case design of comparative politics. It proposes three variables to explain the difference in the transitions between the two countries: (i) the border with Kosovo, (ii) the ethnic minority distribution, and (iii) the speed of stateness transition. Building upon the Mikasell and Murphy (1991) model for minority aspirations, paper observes how and why the demands of the ethnic Albanians rose and created political conflict and violence in Macedonia and prevented democratic consolidation, and why the same did not occur in Montenegro. The different outcomes suggest that, despite of the inherent differences, there is the possibility for both, conflict and cooperation between the different ethnic groups within the democratizing state.