The Unexplored Nexus: Issues of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism in Macedonia
Kosovar Centre for Security Studies
Violent extremism and radicalization in Macedonia are at the crux of the complex puzzle in the broader jigsaw of state-building and societal cohesion. While the individual drivers of violent extremism in Macedonia are consistent to findings elsewhere, this study uncovers structural drivers rooted specifically in the Macedonian context, all of which have contributed to the longer-term consequences that paved the way to radicalization. As a consequence, the myriad of societal and inter-ethnic problems led to the religionization of a part of the society and the entrenchment of ethnic groups in their own particular identity, with some adopting a more conservative national or religious ideology. The growth of radicalization and extremism has occurred “under the surface”, within a context of uneven domestic politics and the contested international political standing of the country pertaining name issue. On occasion there have even been cases where the previous ruling party of Macedonia has misrepresented the presence of religious extremism to deepen the ethnic cleavages in the country. With the new government of mid-2017, however, the country is taking a clear and more comprehensive stand on the issue. There have been tangible efforts to properly invest on the prevention of violent extremism specifically and facilitate better inter-ethnic relations generally in the country.