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Macedonia’s colourful revolution and the elections of 2016. A chance for democracy, or all for nothing?

Paul Reef
Published Online: 2017-05-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/soeu-2017-0009


This article analyses Macedonia’s Colourful Revolution and elections of 2016 against the background of the criticism and protests directed against the Skopje 2014 Project. It also provides a photographic reportage of Skopje 2014 during the political turmoil from July 2016. It examines the main grounds for resistance and opposition to Nikola Gruevski’s VMRO-DPMNE government by further investigating the controversies surrounding Skopje 2014. Those controversies are manifold but stem mainly from the project’s tremendous cost and corruption, its controversial rewriting of history and its exclusion of Albanians and other minorities. Finally, the article argues that the Colourful Revolution has until now failed to overturn or decisively upset Macedonia’s politics or political system, as is evident from election results there. However, it has borne fruit in one respect in that two Albanian MPs have been included in the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), a tentative step towards overcoming the ethnic deadlock of Macedonian politics.

About the article

Paul Reef

Studies History at Radboud University in Nijmegen and has been conducting research on Macedonian monument culture in its Faculty of Arts’ Honours Programme.

Published Online: 2017-05-05

Published in Print: 2017-03-28

Citation Information: Südosteuropa, Volume 65, Issue 1, Pages 170–182, ISSN (Online) 2364-933X, ISSN (Print) 0722-480X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/soeu-2017-0009.

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