Catapulted from totalitarianism to free market capitalism in 1991, Albania emerged from half a century of isolation to find itself an anomaly in Europe: a third world country economically, but first world in terms of education, literature and the arts. How has Albania transformed since then? Clarissa de Waal here explains Albania's 'transition' from Communism via the experiences of a diverse range of families, highland villagers, urban elite and shanty dwellers - whose lives she has followed since 1992. De Waal shows that whilst the archaic world of customary law continues to pervade highland life, and squatters on state farmland live under constant threat of eviction, members of the ex-communist elite in Tirana embrace rentier capitalism. Albania, it seems, is a country wracked by contradictions. With unparalleled insights into the region, this book is a unique history told from the perspective of the participants. It will inform and engage all those interested in Albania and south-east Europe, and prove essential reading for students and specialists.
Clarissa de Waa l taught Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge for 20 years. She is a Fellow of Newnham College.
Maps List of illustrations Acknowledgements Foreword to the revised edition Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. First Impressions: Dropull Chapter 3. Tirana, 1992 Chapter 4. Looking for a fieldwork base Chapter 5. Mirdita and its history Chapter 6. The Kanun in the 1990s Chapter 7. Family life and poverty in Fan Chapter 8. Orosh Chapter 9. The bajraktar and the heroine of the people Chapter 10. Developments Chapter 11. Life and work in Bulshar Chapter 12. Rreshen Economic survival & religion Chapter 13. Rreshen Life & death & the breakdown of law & order Chapter 14. Descent to the plain Chapter 15. New conclusion 2010 Appendices 1. Sketches from a twelve year old's notebook 2. Extended quotations from the Kanun of Lek Dukagjin Bibliography Index