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Albanian Students Revolt: What Is to Be Done?

In the last days, thousands of students have flooded the narrow street where the Albanian Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth is located. Demonstrations of this magnitude are not alien to the public. In the last three decades there have been plenty of anti-government demonstrations in Albania, and apart from a few notable exceptions, they […]

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Scrap mines, call centers and hashish plantations: The grim options facing Albanian workers

Editors’ Note: Over the last three decades or so, the workplace has receded from visibility in scholarship and in cultural productions. This disappearance is a global phenomenon of the neoliberal era, but the shift in East European societies, which used to valorize labor in many ways, has been particularly extreme. To the outside observer, it […]

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Albania and China: the reemergence of an old friendship?

  Note from the LeftEast editors: this piece has been published in cooperation with the Serbo-Croatian Left portal Bilten.Org. Nobody could have expected before the sixties that a tiny and a large country, 7000 thousands kilometers apart, the Popular Republic of Albania and the People’s Republic of China would forge a strong political alliance based […]

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The times they are a changing: Rebuilding collective action in Albania

Following a wave of protests in Zharrez, Albania, Griselda Qosja spoke with activists affiliated with two of the leading leftist organizations in Albania, Organizata Politike and Thurje. From Aristotle to Hegel, the distinction between state and market has been the basis of understanding the role of civil society. In Albania, however, since the 1990s, unfortunately the […]

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The Marvelous and the Everyday: How Rama is failing the Left in Albania

On a May evening six years ago, standing close to the venue where the opposition’s MPs are on strike, darkened by the night and time, solitary and pensive, Edi Rama looks as if painted by some Neue Sachlichkeit artist. “You have a weak handshake” – he tells me and shows how a handshake is supposed […]

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Healthcare tailored to the interests of capital

The following article was originally published by the Serbo-Croatian online platform, Bilten. It is republished here with that site’s kind permission. During the electoral campaign of 2013, the Socialist Party of Albania, then in opposition, made a stunning promise for a Third-Way party. Its chairman Edi Rama stressed that once in power the Socialists would […]

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Property Claims as Social Power Struggle in Albania

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in collaboration with the Serbo-Croat web portal Bilten.Org Several days ago the European Court of Human Rights reached a verdict on contests between three property owners and the Albanian state. It held that the Albanian state owes the property owners 12 million Euros in compensation for not […]

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Albania: Tens of thousands march against the government

Last week almost 50,000 people demonstrated in Tirana, the capital of Albania, against the socialist government of Prime Minister Edi Rama. The protest was organised by the right-wing opposition Democratic Party and demanded the resignation of the government. The strength of the demonstration, together with the current student movement against neoliberal reforms, expresses a growing […]

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Can the dead be resurrected? The impossibility of politicizing mainstream parties in Albania

Jeremy Corbyn’s conquest of the Labor leadership position and the advancement of Bernie Sanders in the Democrats’ race to the White House show that there can be still life in the atrophied bodies of the once-called social-democracies of the West. What’s interesting politically about these outsiders from the Left is their capacity to embody grass-root […]

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Between institutional and non-institutional forms of democratic organizing: Towards revolutionary change

  This is the fourth and final instalment of contributions from the working groups that were set up by the Balkan Forum. The democratisation and participation working group consists of: Arlind Qori, Gal Kirn, Tadej Kurepa, Agon Hamza, Iva Ivšić and Suzana Kunac (coordinator). Introduction We build upon the conclusions of The First Balkan Forum […]