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Language and Identity: The Ohrid Framework Agreement and Liberal Notions of Citizenship and Nationality in Macedonia

Author(s): Zhidas Daskalovski

Journal: Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
ISSN 1617-5247

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2002;
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Keywords: Macedonia | Republic of Macedonia | Ohrid Agreement | peace agreement | citizenship | nationality | language | identity | nation building

This paper examines the importance of the Ohrid Framework Agreement and the subsequent constitutional changes in Macedonia on the development of its political identity.A close analysis is offered of the changes to this paramount Macedonian legal document particularly where the contested issues of language and identity are concerned. The author argues that the changes in the constitution advance a political identity of the country which is best described as 'millet' or 'ethnic' Macedonian. In contrast to a liberal theoretical framework, the constitutional amendments envisioned by the Agreement do not fully support a liberal understanding of the Macedonian political nation and the equality of all its citizens. The new amendments rather put the emphasis on the collective worth of individual citizens. As a result, their rights and duties are not solely considered with a liberal framework of constitutional democracy. Contrary to this opinion, the author maintains that the identity and language of Macedonian Albanians and other minorities are best preserved by a thorough observation of liberal principles of nation building.
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