Accepted paper:

In transition: movement to a better future?

Authors:

Natasa Gregoric Bon (Research Centre SASA, Slovenia)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores peoples’ conceptualisations of transition and movement to a better future in the postcommunist Albania. In peoples’ daily discourse the concept of transition is often described as the continuous oscillation between uncertainty and hope upon which the imaginaries for economic and socially more stable future are constructed.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores peoples' conceptualisations of transition and movement to a better future in the postcommunist Albania. In one of his polemic articles 'Transition or Decay?', the famous Albanian intellectual and journalist, Fatos Lubonja, writes that the term transition is rather inappropriate to encapsulate the past twenty years of transformation from the communist dictatorship to the democratic system and instead proposes a term 'joint voyage' (bashkëudhëtim). With this Lubonja positions Albania in a global geopolitical context of Europe and the European Union and suggests that despite various distances from the shore compared with other European countries the Albanian society is part of the 'joint voyage'. Despite Lubonja's critical conceptualisation of transition, many people in Albania describe the current situation of social and economic insecurity and the past political turmoil as a transition period. According to their narratives transition encapsulates uncertain present yet it brings a hope for a better future. This paper is based on several years of fieldwork in Albania and argues that in peoples' daily discourse the concept of transition is often described as the lingering oscillation between uncertainty and hope upon which the imaginaries for economic and socially more stable future are constructed. This future is often envisioned as the accession to the European Union. The paper also sheds light on how people in their daily lives and narratives envision EU and its enlargement and how they generate political agendas of EU accession.

panel W032
La transformation des sociétés balkaniques: certitudes changeantes et incertitudes constantes ? (EN & FR)