Töpfer, Jochen (2019). Patterns of society and politics – The perspective of religion in Albania and North Macedonia. New Balkan Politics, 18, 1-19. (Accessible: https://www.newbalkanpolitics.org.mk/cat/issue-18/141)

Abstract: While the position of religion in modern society is a contested issue in public debates, scientific analysis focusses centrally on state institutions` intervention into the religious sphere. A dimension often missing in prominent studies is the perspective of religion as the central protagonist, while leaders of religious communities are accepted as normative multiplicators within their group and additionally influence wider parts of society by public statements and symbolic behavior. The study presented here focusses on Albania and North Macedonia, and asks about the inner patterns of attitudes of religious leaders towards the preferred societal order and the role of religion in modern society. Secondly, potentials for religiously motivated integration and conflict in society within the types of attitudes are explored. The study employs a mixed-method technique for interview and analysis, q-method, and includes a total of 60 interviews of religious leaders of the major religious communities in Albania and North Macedonia. The results are twofold, as the majority of types have an integrative pattern, but show a wide distance between each other.

Jochen Töpfer <jochen.toepfer@fu-berlin.de> is in the Department for Sociology, Institute for East European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.