The Macedonian Tendency: MA Thesis on Macedonians In Greece

Friday, October 19, 2007

MA Thesis on Macedonians In Greece

Identity in the Region of West Macedonia (Greece)
Vitkov, David (University of Graz, MA candidate /
Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis”,
Skopje, Macedonia)

Quite often, discussions on region and ethnicity in Southeastern Europe seem to exclude Greece, a country which although it is politically a part of the European integration process driven largely by Western Europe, is located geographically in Southeastern Europe. There is a perception that issues of ethnicity are not an issue in Greece, however this is not the case, especially in some regions in Northern Greece.

This paper shall focus on the region of West Macedonia in Northwestern Greece. Issues of ethnicity, language and culture have and continue to remain a contentious and sensitive issue in this region of Greece. In this paper, I shall firstly examine the historical development of the various identities of the region including the local identity, ethno-cultural identities and the Greek national identity. Next the Greek state policy in relation to the preservation of these identities will be examined.

Here, I will argue that the lack of tolerance for a plurality of identities in the region on the part of the state has prevented some inhabitants of the region from enjoying full equality as citizens of Greece. Specifically, those inhabitants who do not choose to identify with the dominant Greek ethnic identity have and continue to face discrimination. This situation will be put into the context of the emerging notion of a European identity and whether the development of such an identity can be a catalyst for the recognition of a plurality of identities, not only in the region of West Macedonia, but more widely in Greece

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