Where is the ‘State’ in Albania? The Unresolved Contradictions Confronting Civil Society in the ‘Transition’ from Communism to Free Markets

Lori E. Amy, Eglantina Gjermeni


Twenty years after transition, the political sphere in Albania is becoming increasingly authoritarian despite the extensive development agendas promoted by many international organisations. This paper analyses the problems confronting civil society, one of the sacred pillars of democracy promotion, and the reasons it has been largely unable to facilitate early hopes of a democratic transformation. Three primary components converge to inhibit the impact civil society has so far been able to exercise on the political sphere: 1) The un-addressed legacy of a brutal totalitarian dictatorship; 2) the parallel, non-intersecting, distinctly gendered tracks along which civil society and government have developed; 3) the complicity of international structures in inhibiting the deeply analytical culture of knowledge production necessary to shift the relation of the individual to the state.


Albania; civil society; democratisation; gender; nongovernmental organisations.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.