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Abstracts: AJP, Vol. I, Issue 2 (2005)



Continuity or Metamorphosis? Realist Theories and the Anomaly of Medieval International Politics
New York University

In this essay, I conduct an in-depth analysis of several canonical texts of realism. I seek to establish whether or not the analysis of medieval international politics constitutes an anomaly within realist approaches. I make a fourfold argument. First, I establish that while agreeing on the primordial assumption of the anarchical nature of international politics, the founders of realist school and the leading realist theorists disagree almost on every aspect of medieval political relations. Second, I demonstrate that the canonical texts of realism lack consistency across the board on each and one of the essential aspects of medieval politics. Third, I demonstrate that the interpretation of medieval politics in core realist texts falsifies the very assumptions upon which their arguments and claims about continuity are based. I conclude that the analysis of medieval politics and that of the transitions to and from medieval era constitute major anomalies within realism.

Virtual Irredentism? The Redemption and Reification of the Albanian Nation in Cyberspace
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

This essay investigates the impact of Internet use on the representation and cohesiveness of the Albanian nation—both in the ethnic homelands (Kosova, Macedonia, and Albania) and in diaspora. My study finds that the Kosova crisis accelerated the evolution of Albanian cyberspace by providing a news and communications medium which could not be replicated through traditional media platforms. Since the 1990s, the effect of the Internet has been to harmonize certain elements of Albanian cultural identity and provide conceptual contiguity for a nation that has long been divided by international borders. My conclusion is that cyberspace is uniting the Albanian nation within a single communicative space or ecumene—although this does not fully compensate for the unrealized “redemption” of all Balkan Albanians under a single state. My theoretical analysis employs Appadurai’s notion of mediascapes to construct a post-Andersonian framework of “imagined communities” for the Internet era. My findings are supported by primary research conducted among the Web-enabled Albanian-American community, interviews with Albanian Web site operators and national liberation leaders, analysis of Albanian Web sites, and an exhaustive review of the English-language literature on the topic of Albanian cyberspace.

Electoral Institutions, Social Heterogeneity and Political Party Systems in Eastern Europe
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This paper attempts to estimate the impact of electoral institutions and social cleavages on the effective number of political parties in the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe. Several empirical models are presented based on institutional and sociological theories of party systems. Institutional designs are found to have a significant impact in shaping the party systems in Eastern Europe, whereas results about the impact of social cleavages on the effective number of vote winning parties are inconclusive. It is further argued that these results should be expected given the indeterminate nature of social cleavages in post communist societies and their relatively short experience with free elections.


Pula, Besnik. 2005. Review of King Zog of Albania: Europe’s Self-Made Muslim Monarch, by Jason Hunter Tomes. Albanian Journal of Politics, I (2). [Download in PDF]

Peshkopia, Ridvan. 2005. Review of The New Albanian Migration, edited by King, Russell, Nicola Mai, and Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers. Albanian Journal of Politics, I (2). [Download in PDF]

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