Since long before the independence of the Republic of Macedonia, the Macedonian nation and its state-building capacity have suffered from a lack of recognition. Since 1991, the country’s national security and well-being have been plagued by more or less interrelated strategic threats despite its explicitly pro-Western orientation. The 2001 conflict between the Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian guerrillas was a watershed event, after which the country has never been the same.

Today, Macedonian politics is preoccupied with two major issues: domestic interethnic relations and the prolonged naming dispute with Greece. Both have serious regional implications, with the former also having the potential to ignite the Balkans, especially when—and if—combined with the latter. Thus, although Macedonia continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with Western allies in ...

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