Supranational Spaces of Nation- and State-Building: The Albanian Example

Methodological nationalism leads to analyse the nation- and state-building process as the result of dynamics specific to a national space, in relation to an international balance of power. In this talk, I propose to analyse such a process rather as a complex process with various spatial components – local, regional, national and supra-national. Focusing on the supranational level, I argue that any process of nation- and state-building is to be seen at the intersection of a multiplicity of supranational socio-political spaces, not necessarily exclusive. To demonstrate this, I will show how the Albanian nation- and state-building process, that is the development of the idea of the existence of an Albanian nation and its relationship to sovereignty, developed, from the 19th century onwards, at the intersection of social and political dynamics related to different supranational spaces: the Ottoman imperial space, the Balkan space, the Adriatic space, the European space, and even the transatlantic space.

Nathalie CLAYER
is an historian, professor at the EHESS and a senior research fellow at the CNRS (Paris). She is the head of CETOBaC (Center for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan and Central Asian studies). Her main research interests are religion, nationalism and state-building process in the Ottoman and post-Ottoman space, generally focusing on the Albanian space, but also more generally on the Balkans and Turkey. In her work, she is attentive to different scales of analyses, often considering the local and regional configurations to understand the social dimensions (networks, social spaces) that are underlying socio-political processes. In taking into account a large period of time from the Ottoman period to the present, she is able to study the multiple temporalities of these processes. Her publications include Aux origines du nationalisme albanais. La naissance d’une nation majoritairement musulmane en Europe (Karthala, 2007), Conflicting Loyalties in the Balkans (Tauris, 2011) co-edited with Hannes Grandits and Robert Pichler, and Europe’s Balkan Muslims (London, Hurst, 2017) with Xavier Bougarel.