The Albanian Aromanians' Awakening: Identity Politics and Conflict in Post-communist Albania
This source preferred by Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers
Authors: Schwandner-Sievers, S.
Publisher: European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI)
Place of Publication: Flensburg, Germany
Today, many thousands of Aromanians (also known as „Vlachs“) live quite compactly in Northern Greece, Macedonia (FYROM) and southern Albania; and there are still traces of Vlach-Aromanian and Aromanian populations in Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Romania. In Albania, they were recently estimated at about 200,000 by the English scholar Tom Winnifrith. In Albanian communist times, Aromanians were not recognised as a separate minority group, officially considered to be almost completely assimilated. However, in the early post-communist transition period, a vivid Aromanian ethnic movement emerged in Albania and it became part of a recent global Balkan Aromanian initiative. The Albanian Aromanians’ new emphasis of their ethnicity can be seen as a pragmatic strategy of adjustment to successes and failures in the Albanian political transition and to globalisation. It is exactly the re-vitalisation of the conflict between followers of a pro-Greek and a pro-Romanian Aromanian identification that serves to broaden the scope of options for potential exploitation.