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Citizenship, Ethnicity, History, Nation, Region, and the Prespa Agreement of June 2018 between Macedonia and Greece

Stefan Rohdewald
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  • Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Historisches Institut, Osteuropäische Geschichte, Otto Behaghel Strasse 10, 35394Gießen, Germany
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Published Online: 2018-12-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/soeu-2018-0042


The agreement reached at Lake Prespa on 17 June 2018 between Greece and Macedonia should be welcomed, insofar as it promises to end the Greek blockade—in any case unnecessary—of Macedonia’s accession to the European Union and to NATO. Yet conceptually, the author argues, the agreement’s text is explosive, having been crafted to fundamentally confirm and consolidate a radical ‘otherness’ of the two parties involved (that is, Greece and Macedonia), encompassing their populations and histories. Any expert tasked with supervising the re-writing of history textbooks in the spirit of this agreement, as stipulated therein, will quickly find it impossible to reconcile the definitions and concepts put forth there with the methodological and theoretical knowledge about the need to de-essentialize and de-construct ‘ethnicity’, ‘history’, ‘culture’, ‘nation’, etc. This knowledge has been the basic standard in international scholarly debates over at least the last thirty years.

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Published Online: 2018-12-17

Published in Print: 2018-12-19

Citation Information: Südosteuropa, Volume 66, Issue 4, Pages 577–593, ISSN (Online) 2364-933X, ISSN (Print) 0722-480X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/soeu-2018-0042.

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