ALPSA 2004 Conference

Political Science and Society - Challenges of Democratization, 
Development, and European Integration.

Conference Program Conference Papers Abstracts

The conference “Political Science and Society – Challenges of Democratization, Development, and European Integration” took place in Tirana on 19-20 November 2004.  The conference was attended by over 100 political and social sciences scholars from Albania, its neighboring countries, the European Union, and the United States.  The conference was organized in five different panels dealing with issues of relations between the European Union and Albania; Albanian politics (political parties, Albanian media, democratic institutions); political economy (informal economy, immigration, Euroization); Kosovo politics (institution building, social movements, international actors); and regional politics (Balkan security, power sharing agreements, institutions protecting civic and human rights).  In addition, the conference featured two keynote presentations by Prof. Philippe Schmitter of the European University Institute in Florence, and Prof. Nicole Lindstrom of the Central European University in Budapest (details in the conference program). Proceedings of the conference will be published in print and electronic formats, and will be available free of charge to all academic and research institutions in Albania.  A workshop titled “Teaching Political Science” was organized on 23 November 2004 and was attended by lecturers and professors of political science from the University of Tirana, New York University of Tirana, as well as lecturers of political science and sociology from US universities.

This conference, being the very first official meeting of Albanian political scientists, was successful in that it established a network of Albanian social scientists who share a common professional objective to promote scientific approaches to the study of Albanian politics, and to improve teaching of political science in Albanian academic institutions.

Teaching of social and political sciences at Albanian universities was the theme of our workshop on teaching methods.  Participants in the workshop discussed various methods on how to promote critical thinking, improve academic writing skills of students, and discuss global perspectives of politics in classroom.  The workshop dealt also with issues of how to improve course syllabi, political science literature in Albanian language, and especially how to make better use of resources already available to lecturers and students in Albania such as the political science library that was opened by ALPSA and the Center for Public Policy, Political Science and Law in June 2004.

The conference received a wide coverage in print and electronic media. Chronicles about the conference were transmitted in the main daily news bulletins of TV Klan (19 November 2004) and RTSh (Albanian Radio Television) (20 November 2004).  Articles about the conference and interviews with conference participants were printed in several daily newspapers such as: Shekulli (21 November 2004); Koha Jone (28 November 2004); Gazeta Tema (21-22, and 27 November 2004); Gazeta Metropol (21 November 2004); and Gazeta 55 (21 November 2004).

In addition, information about the conference and its program was distributed through email and electronic lists and reached an estimated number of over 6,000 researchers in Albania and neighboring countries.  The conference webpage was visited by over 1,000 visitors in the period 1-20 November 2004.  We received over 400 emails inquiring information about the conference, and over 100 paper proposals.

Proceedings of the conference will be revised, edited, and printed in Albanian and English languages and will be distributed free of charge to all academic, research, civil society organizations, and libraries in Albania.  Another direct product of the conference is the publication of the Journal of Albanian Politics.  The Journal of Albanian Politics (Studime Politike Shqiptare) will be a bilingual academic journal (Albanian and English) featuring academic and public policy research, as well as book reviews.  The first issue will be published in May 2005.

          ALPSA plans to make this conference an annual event in Albania.  The second Albanian political science conference is tentatively scheduled for October 2005.

Organization of the conference “Political Science and Society” was made possible through the financial support of several institutions such as: the Center for Public Policy, Political Science, and Law (US$14,850), Open Society Foundation for Albania (US$8,990), the American Embassy in Albania (US$4,995), and the Dutch Embassy in Albania (Euro 3,120).

Conference Program Conference Papers Abstracts


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