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The Politics of Majority NationalismFraming Peace, Stalemates, and Crises$
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Neophytos Loizides

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804794084

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804794084.001.0001

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Trapped in Nationalism? Symbolic Politics in Greece and the Macedonian Question

Trapped in Nationalism? Symbolic Politics in Greece and the Macedonian Question

(p.41) 3 Trapped in Nationalism? Symbolic Politics in Greece and the Macedonian Question
The Politics of Majority Nationalism

Neophytos Loizides

Stanford University Press

Chapter 3 examines how adversarial framing on the Macedonian issue constrained a moderate government in Greece from capitalizing on its peace potential in the early 1990s when major demonstrations in Thessaloniki and Athens attracted at least a million people each. At the same time, it asks why conflicts related to Turkey or Albania received little attention despite ethnic antagonisms and an alleged “civilizational divide” between Greece and its predominantly Muslim neighbors. Drawing evidence from the Hellenic Parliament, this chapter demonstrates that on Turkish and Albanian issues, a sizeable moderate camp championed reconciliation and compromise, maintaining a balance between hardliners and moderates in Greece. Even so, hardliners monopolized the framing of Greece’s Macedonian policies, thus shaping an early nationalist consensus. By adopting this hegemonic frame, mainstream Greek political elites prevented adaptation to new realities in the 1990s, obstructing a feasible peace agreement between the two nations.

Keywords:   Macedonia, FYROM, symbols, rallies, Albania, Northern Epirus, Western Thrace, Bulgaria, clash of civilizations, enduring rivalries

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