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Merita Meçe

Abstract

The term globalization has been widely used in recent decades. Its definition has been subject to various tense debates and has involved a number of evolving theories which compete in the literature (Jones, 2010). Looking at different aspects of the globalization process, they analyze its features, present its advantages and discuss its disadvantages for economic restructuring, international political power and people’s lives (Martell, 2010). Consequently there is no single concept for this macro phenomenon which impacts on economic integration, the transfer of policies across borders, knowledge transmission and cultural stability, as well as the reproduction, relations and discourses of power (Al-Rodhan & Stroudmann, 2006). The main purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of globalization on Albania during the years of democratic transition towards a market economy, in the process focusing on the economic, political and social factors that continuously have underpinned it.

Open access

Merita Meçe

Abstract

Population aging is becoming an inevitable phenomenon in Albanian post-socialist society, posing multi-faceted challenges to its individuals, families and society as a whole. Since 1991, the Albanian population has been exposed to intensive demographic changes caused by unintended aspects of socio-economic transition from a planned socialist economy to a market-oriented capitalist one (Hoff, 2008). Ongoing processes of re-organization of social institutions increased its socio-economic insecurity leading to the application of various coping mechanisms. While adjusting themselves to other aspects of life, people changed their decisions of having children and leaving the country (Hoff, 2008). On the other hand, replacement of former traditional extended family forms with diverse living arrangements and family structures has been the outcome of the combination of three factors: falling fertility, increasing life expectancy and increasing migration (INSTAT, 2014).

However, family remains the basic social unit that provides support, care and protection for its old members even though its capacities are diminishing. Family Life Cycle Theory views family development as a series of stages where family members deal with various developmental tasks and play different roles as they move from one stage to another.

This paper examines population aging in Albanian post-socialist society (after 1990). Based on Family Life Cycle Theory and Family Development Theory, it reviews literature and uses secondary data to discuss its implications for elderly care and family life. It concludes that population aging requires better understanding of this process in order to facilitate a series of family adaptations to respond to the changing needs of its elderly members.

Open access

Merita H. Meçe

Abstract

Human trafficking is a new phenomenon of Albanian post-socialist society which significantly increased during the difficult years of its transformation from centralized state-led economy to market economy. Both economic and political instability contributed to its size, nature and multiple dynamics. Drawing on a rights-based approach to human trafficking, this paper examines the effectiveness of the counter-trafficking response of the Albanian government with a special emphasis on prevention, protection and prosecution. Using secondary data and reviewing various country strategic documents, it highlights a range of weaknesses and challenges which have hindered its effectiveness over years. It concludes that successful and effective counter-trafficking response requires well rounded and coordinated gender sensitive, victim-centred, holistic and human rights-based efforts. Combined with adequate law enforcement, they will sustainably tackle the full spectrum of this problem.