Accepted Paper:

Spies, fugitives and illegal immigrants: defining the limits of legitimacy at the Greek-Albanian border  


Konstantinos Mantzos (University of Ioannina)

Paper long abstract:

The aim of this paper is to attempt to understand how the movement of people through a political border, a dictated cultural divide, defines a space where questions of 'legitimate/illegitimate existence' are posed, manipulated and fought upon. By focusing at the ways the inhabitants of both sides of the Greek-Albanian border and the corresponding state apparatuses have dealt with those that have been crossing the state lines outside the official paths, I intend to bring forward the transformations of discourses on legitimacy/illegitimacy; transformations that ultimately point at the complex relations between the presumed marginality of the border zone and the equally presumed ubiquity of the (nation)-state. Furthermore, besides the afore mentioned relations, or rather on the side of it, is important to attempt to reassess the role of anthropologists in creating yet another border zone, that of the ethnographic fieldwork, which also has to come in terms with the same basic questions -where the border is, or rather where the border stops.

Panel W059
Experiencing borders and boundaries in the post-socialist Southeastern Europe (SEE)