Accepted Paper:

The Westernised law and the local conditions: the case of informal area in Tirana's suburbia.  


Nebi Bardhoshi (Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Art Studies, Tirane)

Paper short abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the way how the image of being European/Western is playing a crucial role in legitimising the discourse for the legalisation of informal areas in Albania.

Paper long abstract:

Albanian society, considered as the most ┬┤isolated┬┤ place in Europe during the period of communism, has opened to doors to the process of European Integration. During the communism period Western Europe was a foe, and symbolized, together with U.S.A, the cradle of capitalism The perception, now as changed, and Western Europe, especially, European Union, is seen as the ideal community. The imagination the former-enemy is, ideologically, transformed into the ideal type and a 'natural' place where Albania ought be. In this paper we will try to argue how political elites make use of European-base legislation laws to legitimised their decision, and undertaking reform, as right and just, in the name of integration/modernisation, and as the sole way to 'Go West' and EU. Under focus will be the legislative system on land property that is transplanted into Albania, and how the westernisation motif is used to legitimise it. The ethnographic data are taken from the informal area suburbia of Tirana.

Panel W012
'West' and 'East'. Dreaming, writing, imagining, and practicing Europe