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By Elez Biberaj

In early 1997, Albania’s transition to democracy suffered a significant setback whilst pyramid schemes sparked violent unrest, plunging the rustic into its worst political and fiscal main issue because the downfall of communism. The uprisings and next elections, within which the Socialist get together gained a landslide victory, have made front-page information within the overseas group. And Albania’s proximity to the Yugoslavian melee and heritage of utmost radical communism make it a country to watch.In Albania in Transition, Elez Biberaj offers a entire political profile of Albania in view that 1989. He charts Albania’s transition from one social gathering to many, from a command economic system to a industry economic system, and its transition to a countrywide safeguard nation in an unpredictable, post–Cold warfare overseas safeguard regime.

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That it does so may be related to the fact that our notion of culture and society are themselves largely a product of the homogenizing visions of ethnic and nationalist ideologies (cf. Handler 1988, Wolf 1988b). For recent, 'de-essentializing' views on culture see Hannerz 1992 and the contributions by Barth, Keesing and Vayda in Borofsky 1994; see also Bauman and Sunier 1995. Related to this view is McDonald's argument that an attempt at defining identity would be 'contrary to the guiding spirit of this book, which is to explore the ways in which identities [!

6· . 6· Kwitla Accra Newtown Cape Coast Axim Gulf of Guinea 100 50 4"W ,. 290 kilometres 100 mi/es O' '·E Source: PRO, CO 700, Gold Coast 29; redrawn with permission from African Studies 53, 1994; place names modernised for purposes of identification Carola Lentz 37 Written documents from the period up until the establishment of British rule in 1898 are scarce and so are reliable clues to the pre-colonial politieal and sodal organization in what is today north-western Ghana. 9 Using the newly introduced ethnie labels when speaking of the pre-colonial past, as colonial officers did and local ac tors and anthropologists continue to do, even if only for convenience's sake, easily leads one into presuming that the groups so labelled in actual fact existed within boundaries and with a degree of internal cohesion comparable to the present.

It relates to the name of Gypsies, at least some 'facts' of history and to some oral traditions of the speeific group of Gypsies involved. Some readers might even conclude that we cannot exclude the possibility that these people 'really' are Egyptians. The cases of the Lazi in north-eastern Turkey and the Dagara of northeastern Ghana, analyzed respectively by Hann and Lentz, lead to similar conclusions. The concentration of the soeial constructionist approach on issues like discourse, ideology, the invention of traditions and the role of intellectuals in the creation and propagation of ethnic identities tends to result in a neglect of the role of socio-economic processes in the formation of ethnic identities, characteristic of the political economy approach, more popular during the seventies.

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