1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Policing Democratic Language in Post-Conflict Macedonia

Following a 2001 armed conflict in Macedonia, representatives of the European Union and the United States claimed an influential, but unofficial, oversight role on the country’s domestic politics. While Macedonian politicians debated how best to realize post-conflict legislative reforms, these foreign officials marshaled mass media to publicly comment on the Macedonian political process and to pressure domestic political actors toward specific models of liberal democratic governance. As a result, foreign officials’ political practice in Macedonia produced an uneasy contradiction: how does one dictate democracy? In this talk, I examine the strategies by which foreign officials in Macedonia sought simultaneously to intervene in the country’s democratic process and to disclaim such an interventionist role. In reviewing several examples of foreigners’ public commentary in Macedonia as well as Macedonian political actors’ responses to them, I analyze the routinized, mass-mediated participant structures and interactional forms that enabled the peculiar role of foreign officials in the post-conflict period. From this perspective, I show how the “models of responsibility” that were figured within the public performance of foreign commentary worked to suspend the tensions inherent to externally led projects of democratization.

  • Brooks Hall 2nd Floor Conference Room
    Reception follows in Brooks Commons, 1st Floor


Event Date: 
Friday, 3 May 2013 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Andy Graan
Speaker Title: 
Visiting Professor of Anthropology, University of Virginia