The Role of Collective Identities Management in Offsetting the Ethno – Social Distance (Case of the Republic of Macedonia)

  • Abstract:

    The Macedonian case of managing the collective identities offers a comprehensive restructuring of the society, using both positive and negative social and historical memory narratives. The latter represents a relatively rare case of structuring a new kind of human rights policy, by granting collective rights to different communities. In this regard, a distinction has to be made between the largest minority community – the Albanian and other communities (Serbs, Turks, Roma, etc.), whereas the collective identity, reflected in the feeling of belonging to the majority is more or less pronounced. The political dimension of the two conflicting groups and their collective identities (Macedonian and Albanian), represents one of the decisive factors for their mobilization, unfortunately ending in armed conflict in 2001, followed by subsequent restructuring of the society. The new politics of management of collective identities enhances the feeling of security. It further fosters the affiliation to the term “demos” as a supranational concept. The general social and political system, the State, as well as the civil sector split an equal role of creators and managers of the above politics. The role of the state actors, acting as the primary factor in this context, is complemented by the role of civil society. The Macedonian case in the recent history recognizes the role of certain “mediation” management of the collective memory. The latter term was introduced in the post – conflict period, enhanced by the principle of positive discrimination, highlighting the importance of ethno – social closeness. The successfulness of the Macedonian multicultural model relies on continuous influence by all of its subcultures. The post 2001 politics introduces a new inclusive identity, extinguishing the element of recognition of one group only, immersing and reforming into the element of recognition of the wider community, i.e. coexistence of ethnic, liberal and civil to a new public space.