Mary Shiraef (University of Notre Dame)
2 December 2022 @ 13:00 - 14:00
- Past event
Hoxha’s Grand Experiment on the Greeks of Albania: Ethnic Identity and Political Attitudes Before, During and After a Communist Dictatorship
Abstract. Were local-level ethnic identity conflicts quelled by communist regimes––only to re-emerge generations later? Or did communist-era policies toward minority groups successfully engineer the post-communist identity landscape? From historical research, we understand that Soviet-era border-making departed sharply from the “melting pot” model of the Western world by introducing identity recognition policies toward minority groups within the regime’s borders. Less is known about the long-run effects of these policies on post-communist ethnic and political identity transmission. To examine this question, I am collecting a database of social, ethnic, religious, and political identity markers curated by communist-engineered populations at the Albania-Greece border––in local civil registries, national censuses, and cemeteries––during and after Albania’s communist period, 1945-1990. I leverage access to previously sealed pre-communist data as my study’s baseline. So far, I have found clear bifurcation in ethnic identity attachment developing after 1945, during communism––as well as attachment of ethnic identity to political parties after communism. In this workshop, I would especially like to discuss the methods of the paper. I also invite substantive ideas for making the causal story more compelling.