Nenad Markovic, Marjan Nikolov


The Republic of Macedonia and Greece have a symbolic dispute that lasts for almost three decades. In the cen-tre of the dispute is the term “Macedonia” that Greece claims to be exclusively Greek, at the same time deny-ing the right of the neighbouring country to freely use the name. The paper examines several aspects of the dis-pute. By utilizing the theoretical framework given by the ethnosymbolic school of nationalism (predominantly Smith and Hutchinson), it explains the theoretical aspects of symbols and their use in nation building process-es. Furthermore, it examines the conflict itself and its background, trying to establish the precise kind of sym-bolic conflict it belongs to, and the possible outcomes given the asymmetric power relation between the two actors. Finally, it analyses the costs of the economic embargo imposed to the Republic of Macedonia by Greece, as a direct consequence of the symbolic dispute between the two countries.


ethnosymbolism; name dispute; national symbols; economic costs

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