Croatian International Relations Review

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Islam Jusufi

n 1997 Albania experienced a collapse of order and widespread violence, which resulted in a situation where the government was overthrown and some 2,000 people were killed. The 1997 disorder came as a result of the collapse of fraudulent financial pyramid schemes that had all the features of a war-like economic structure. During the 1997 events, large-scale confiscation and stealing of state assets occurred. Albania’s transitional period from communism to democracy, which began in 1990, led to the establishment of new structures for profiting from the country’s resources. Some of these political and economic structures, in the aftermath of the 1997 events, disappeared and others, including their structural effects, persist and have had an impact on the country’s political stability and economic progress. Today, both the successes and failures of the country are assessed based on the progress that the country has made since the 1997 events. The paper analyses the 1997 events and the transformation of Albania’s political and economic structures between 1997 and 2016, considering both achievements and failures. It looks at how the country has dealt with the post-1997 peace-building and development agenda from the perspective of it being a success. It looks at the factors that led to state failure in 1997 and at the factors that continue and have generated a path dependency to the current political context of the country. Although a lot has been written concerning the 1997 events, very little analysis has been conducted concerning what it means from the perspective of research on state failure. In this context, the proposed paper seeks to offer Albania as a case study example of a transformation process, from the uprising to the current situation, which is characterized as a mixture of successes and failures. The belief is that the proposed paper will point to some lessons learned for the strategies directed at the transformation processes.