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Macedonia

In Macedonia the outlines of a debate over the status, practices and feelings associated with citizenship crystallised at independence, when ethnic Albanians boycotted the independence referendum and organised an alternative referendum on territorial autonomy. For their part, ethnic Macedonians often assumed they could rejoin Yugoslavia at a later stage.150

In 1998 the Ministry of Education created a commission to oversee and implement all activities related to civic education. If ‘centralisation was a strong sign of distrust’ towards those domestic and international experts who had piloted previous civic education initiatives, it nonetheless ensured top-down introduction of civic education in schools. Civic education was officially introduced in 1998, and mainstreamed in 2001-2002 as a separate subject in grades 7 and 8 of primary school and in all grades of secondary vocational schools and as ‘curriculum inserts’ in all grades of academic secondary schools.151

Trajkovski argues that ‘the [2001] war spoiled the very ideas of citizenship, diversity and human rights’.152 The National Liberation Army’s (NLA) appeal to human rights as the justification for its insurrection undermined inter-communal trust and stimulated a widespread ‘feeling that others [were] out to get them’.153 The Ohrid Agreement’s provisions for proportional allocation of positions in the public administration left ethnic Macedonians marginalised and embittered, and ethnic Albanians increasingly determined to redress past discrimination. 1 54 This further problematised the definition of citizenship and the articulation of the relationship between the state and individuals.

 
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