Radical Left in Albania and Kosovo: Differences and Similarities

Open access


The main research question for this paper is: Are there radical left wing movements in Albania and Kosovo and what are their main traits? Through answering this question, we will explore the development (or lack thereof) of radical left wing movements. With radical left we intend movements that reject the underlying socio-economic structure of contemporary capitalism and its values and practices without opposing democracy. Through a thorough desk research and several interviews with experts and activists both in Albania and Kosovo, we look at the two case Political Opportunity Structures to study the emergence, the strategies, success or failures of the radical left. In Albania the radical left has been in decline since 1992, with only a recent revival from 2009 on. In Kosovo, the Lëvizja Vetëvendojse! (Self-Determination Movement), a civil movement transformed in a party, has succeeded in imposing its left agenda. Both cases employ a new rhetoric unrelated to the past communist regimes thus changing the perspective of political debate in both countries.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • • Amy L. E. & Gjermeni E. (2013). Where is the ‘State’ in Albania? The Unresolved Contradictions Confronting Civil Society ‘Transition’ from Communism to Free Markets. Studies of Transition States and Societies 5(1) 7-21

  • • Augestad Knudsen R. (2010). Privatization in Kosovo: The International Project 1999-2008 Oslo: NUPI Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.

  • • Biberaj E. (2001). Shqipëria në Tranzicion: Rruga e Vështirë drejt Demokracisë. Tirana: Botime Ora

  • • Bòzoki A. & Ishiyama J. (2002). The Communist Successor Parties in Central and Eastern Europe. New York-London: M.E. Sharpe

  • • Chiodi L. Martino F. & Vanoni F. (2008). From one parallel society to another. Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Occasional Paper 1-17

  • • Della Porta. D. and Diani. M. 1999. Social Movements: An Introduction. Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing.

  • • De Waal C. (2005). Albania today: A portrait of post-communist turbulence. London: I.B. Tauris.

  • • Elezi G. (2013). Ndërveprimi midis partive politike dhe organizatave të shoqërisë civile. Polis 11 48-61

  • • Fischer B. J. (2005). L’Anschluss italiano. La guerra in Albania (1939-1945) Nardó: Besa Editrice

  • • Flick U. (1998). An introduction to qualitative research. London: Sage

  • • Fuga A. (2003) Majtas jo djathtas. Tirana: Botime ORA

  • • Halikiopoulou D. Nanou K. & Vasilopoulo S. (2012). The paradox of nationalism: The common denominator of radical right and radical left euroscepticism. European Journal of Political Research 51 504-539

  • • IKS. (2011). A Power Primer A Handbook to Politics People and Parties in Kosovo. Prishtina: Kosovo Stability Initiative

  • • Ishiyama J. (2001). Party Organization and the political success of the communist successor parties. Social Sciences Quarterly 82 (4) 844-861

  • • Kanzleiter B. & Tomic D. (2012). The left in the post-Yugoslav area. In B. Daiber C. Hildebrandt & A. Striethorst From revolution to coalition - radical left parties in Europe (pp. 309-325). Berlin: Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation.

  • • Kajsiu B. (2008). Vdekje Politikës Liri Popullit!-Kriza e Përfaqësimit në Përgjithësi. Polis 5-25.

  • • Kessler-Vardari A. (2012). Politics of Protest in Supervised Statehood: Co-Shared Governance and Erosion of Citizenship. The Casestudy of the Vetëvendosje! Movement in Kosovo. Southeastern Europe 36 149-177

  • • Këlliçi K. (2010). A ka vend për skemën Lipset-Rokkan në Shqipëri?. Politikja 2 193-208

  • • Këlliçi K. & Danaj E. (2011). Përcaktuesit e pjesmarrjes politike të të rinjve: E majta dhe e djathta. Polis 10 103-120

  • • Kitchelt H. P. (1986). Political Opportunity Structures and Political Protest: Anti Nuclear Movements in Four Democracies. British Journal of Political Science 16 (1) 57-85

  • • Kitchelt H. P. (1992). The Formation of Party Systems in East Central Europe. Politics and Society 20 (1) 7-50

  • • Kitchelt H. P. (2002). Constraints and Opportunities in the Strategic Conduct of Post-Communist Successor Parties: Regime Legacies as Causal Argument. In: Bòzoki A. & Ishiyama J. (eds.) The Communist Successor Parties in Central and Eastern Europe (pp. 14-40). New York-London: M. E. Sharpe.

  • • Krasniqi A. (2009). Zgjedhjet në Shqipëri. Tirana

  • • Krasniqi A. (2006). Partitë Politikë në Shqipëri. Tirana

  • • Leftwich Curry J. & Barth Urban J. (2003). The Left Transformed in Post-Communist Societies: The Cases of East-Central Europe Russia and Ukraine Oxford-New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

  • • Lewis P. G. (2001). Political Parties in Post-Communist Eastern Europe London: Routledge

  • • Lëvizja Vetëvendosje! (2010). History of Lëvizja Vetëvendosje! (Movement for Self-Determination!). Accessed on December 3 2013 www.Vetevendosje.org

  • • Lëvizja Vetëvendosje! (2013) Alternativa Qeverisëse (Governing Alternative) Accessed December 3 2013 www.Vetevendosje.org

  • • March L. & Mudde C. (2005). What’s left of the radical left? The european radical left after 1989: Decline and mutation. Comparative European Politics 3 23-49

  • • March L. (2008). Contemporary Far Left Parties in Europe: From Marxism to Mainstream?. International Policy Analysis Berlin: Fredrich Ebert Stiftung http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/id/ipa/05818.pdf

  • • Mair P. (1997). Party System Change: Approaches and Interpretations Oxford: Oxford University Press

  • • Meyer D. S. & Staggenborg S. (1996). Movement Countermovement and the Structure of Political Opportunity. The American Journal of Sociology 101 (6) 1628-1660

  • • Mile K. (2013). Protesta si Fenomen Konservator. Polis 11 30-47

  • • Nosan B. (2012). Kosovo’s Vetëvendosje Movement Doesn’t Like Foreign Intervention. Accessed on 20 December 2013

  • • http://www.vice.com/read/kosovos-Vetevendosje-movement-doesnt-like-foreign-intervention

  • • Organizata Politike (2013). Statuti i Organizatës Politike 2013 (Statute of Political Organization) Tirana: OP

  • • Organizata Politike. (2013). Manifesti i Organizatës Politike (Political Organization Manifesto) Tirana: OP

  • • Progni L. (2010). Trashëgimtarët. Tirana: UET Press

  • • Rootes C. (1999). Political Opportunity Structures: Promise problems and prospects. La Lettre de la maison Française d’Oxford Nr. 10 75-97

  • • Smajlaj A. (2011). Ailing the Process: Political Parties and Consolidation of Democracy in Kosovo. Dissertation Universität Duisburg-Essen. Accessed November 12

  • • http://duepublico.uni-duisburg-essen.de/servlets/DerivateServlet/Derivate-27290/Smajljaj_Dissertation_pdf.pdf

  • • Stojarova V. (2010). The Party System of Albania. In: Stojarova V & Emerson P. (eds.) Party Politics in the Western Balkans London: Routledge

  • • Offe K. (1991). Capitalism by Democratic Design? Democratic Theory Facing the Triple Transition in East Central. Europe Social Research Vol. 58 Nr. 4 865-892

  • • Vickers M. (2000). The Albanians: A Modern History. London: I.B. Tauris

  • • Williams M. H. (2009) Catch-all in the Twenty-first Century? Revisiting Kirchheimer’s Thesis 40 years Later: An Introduction. Party Politics 15 539-541.

  • • Xhaferaj E. (2011) Party system and social cleavages: the case of post-communist Albanian Elections. PECOB Paper Series Nr. 10 Accessed 20 November. 2013 http://www.iecob.net/main/pecobs-papers-series/289-party-system-and-social-cleavages-the-case-of-the-post-communist-albanian-elections-by-endri-xhaferaj

  • • Zibblat D. (1998). The Adaptation of Ex-Communist Parties to Post-Communist East Central Europe: Comparative Study of the Hungarian and East German Ex-Communist Parties. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 31(2) 119-137

  • • Zulfaj J. Mulliqi B. Shala M. & Tahiri P. (2008) Political Parties in Kosova Profile and Ideology. Prishtinë: Çelnaja

  • • Danaj K. Regional Political Analyst Center for Political and Social Prognosis Tirana December 3 2013.

  • • Gjevori E. Ph.D. candidate Dublin City University December 17 2013

  • • Hasimja E. Lecturer of Political Communication University of New York Tirana November 27 2013

  • • Hoppe A. Lecturer of Anthropology John Jay College for Criminal Justice December 12 2013

  • • Marka J. Organizata Politike November 30 2013

  • • Mile K. Lecturer of Political Science European University of Tirana December 2 2013

  • • Zaimi A. Political Committees’ Coordinator at Lëvizja Vetëvendosje December 12 2013

Journal information
Target audience: experts in the fields of: law, economy, public administration, international relations, political sciences, languages, communication, technology sciences, and environment.
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 357 106 6
PDF Downloads 269 164 23