Journal article Open Access

State-organised Religion and Muslims' Commitment to Democracy in Albania

Elbasani, Arolda

This article questions why, and indeed whether and how, Muslims have agitated for democracy during different stages of post-Communist transition. Theoretically, we merge the theoretical insights of moderation paradigm and more specific institutional, ideological and historical devices that characterize the post-communist religious field in investigating Muslims' commitment to democracy in post-Communist Albania. The empirical analysis traces how the centralised Muslim organization, the Albanian Muslim Community (AMC) has navigated the spaces between the emerging institutional solutions, religious interpretations and intellectual arguments in order to define and justify its positions on democracy during different stages of post-communist democratization. The analysis suggests that arguments inherited from the past have provided a familiar 'Albanian-specific' template and has facilitated the reclaiming of Islam in a local, pro-democratic and pro-European manner.

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