Radical Left in Albania and Kosovo: Differences and Similarities

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Abstract

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.

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