Statehood similarities between Albania & Russia

From A. Karakushi for UNYT
This paper analyzes the statehood similarities between Russia and Albania. Albania like Russia share a lot when it comes to authoritarianism in statehood. Although this form of authoritarianism is different in both countries and it is deriving and being handled differently, the way the leaders of these countries use power and make usage of law to govern is similar especially in regard to domestic policy. For this I will make a brief historical background of both countries in regards to forms of statehood and regime as well as analyzing the recent leaders of both countries in the way they govern.

Russia and Albania’ statehood historical Perspective

Russia is the heritor of a thousand year old tradition of statehood, a heritor that throughout its history the political shapes and geographical size has been subject of a great change. As a state Russia had formed an imperial monarchy (15th-17th century) that indeed ruled a variety of territories and people. From this already we notice that Russia from its start of statehood was not based on ethnicity. Later on following the 1917 revolution where the Communist regime took place and world history saw a new Empire named USSR (Remington, 2006). The USSR was being ruled in another form of totalitarianism that many other former communist countries met as well, a form of ruling that had a monopolistic character. The demise of communism in 1991 led to the break up of USSR where Russia the legal successor now had another shape and embraced or better say opened its door toward another form of political system, the democratic one. Remington among others argues that in this system Russia is dealing with dual executive of autocrat and government, speaks about impotence of legal institutions, and beyond all survival of the former’s regime ruling elite. Russians themselves say that the so-called Russian Revolution brought no change, it was a simple illusion.

In addition to this many Albanians today say that the old guys ‘ are still in power especially considering that the files of the communist period are not to be opened yet. If we go back in time if Russian first Revolution happened in 1917 Albanian state forming efforts started in 1918 with the declaration of independence. From a new democratic state it be came with a president and later on the president (A.Zogu) proclaimed himself King. This figure, Ahmet Zogu, understood that Albanians needed a King in order to obey or the love for power exceeded. The social and economic life at the time was based on the feudal system. The Second World War brought a major change in Albania, the communist rule that became the Dictatorship of Proletariat led Albanians for more than 45 years. This rule clearly marked Albanians as being the most severe and totalitarian regime this nation ever met. As Stalin’s millions of victims the Albanian dictator accounts thousand of victims and persecuted Albanian dissidents. The fall of communism in the 90’s made Albanians to establish pluralism, and start building a democratic system. However in a nation indoctrinated with the communist way of ruling and where even the leader of the Democratic Party was a former communist for 22 years it showed that the path towards a democratic state had to go through very turbulent times. The pyramid schemes where a majority of Albanians lost their lives’ savings were certainly caused from a lack of state capacity to deal with the open market as well as the stubbornness of the president to admit what was going on, and to hear the warnings of the International experts on the issue as well as the warnings of the prime minister Meksi (1997). In Russia the collapse of the financial system happened in 1998.

To conclude Albania and Russia are typical examples of states ruled by law in the hands of those who maintain power. Today in Albania the General prosecutor was set from the Berisha’s party; the President Topi was choosen from Berisha’s party. Seeing the executive, legislative, and judicial power in the hands of the same party does not need to recall long times ago. Albanian civil society is still very weak in Albania, while in Russia it has been particularly suppressed with the arrival in power of Putin. For different reasons however these 2 civil societies are having the same impact on their respective societies.

Although in article 10 of the Russian constitution is written that:

“ State power in the Russian Federation is exercised on the basis of separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers. Bodies of legislative, executive and judicial power are independent”

While under Yeltsin because of having an efficient opposition such powers were well divided, and because Yeltsin himself was the one who managed this constitution, in the other hand under Putin the separation of powers is blurred. Putin centralization of powers touched in a high degree the judicial and the legislative power. The parliament under Putin seems to be even more formal than the today’s European parliament. He also increased the power of executive in controlling to the judicial one. It is true that in Albania the opposition is more efficient and there is a control from EU towards Albania that catalyzes reforms in the matter however when it comes to the leaders we see the same ruling philosophy. In these moments the Albanian elections are being prepared and the electoral campaign of both camps (Democrats and Socialists) is showing once more how the law is seen as a property of the politicians. To accompany this say is enough to mention that because of the decision of Berisha’s opponent Rama (who hold also the post of the Mayor of Tirana Municipality) not to take part in the elections and to face voting, Berisha clearly stated in the last meetings (Elbasan, June 2009) that he is ready to change the law so Rama changes his decision and puts his name in the top of his party election’s list. In fact as a matter of elections both countries have been holding elections that are competitive, when it comes to the term “contested” elections both countries have faced reports that accused them for manipulations by the state officials through inequality of access in the media, or even worse in Albania where some reports of OSCE and ODHIR have shown severe incidents during the Albanian elections of 2005, 1997.

In Russia the improvements in the quality of governing have been modest, especially when we know that Putin has been more efficient in suppressing the check and balance institutions (Remington), the same is to say for Albania although it became a NATO member last year the Gerdec tragedy that killed 26 and wounded around 300 showed once more how weak the Albanian administration is and the high levels of corruption. Again the lack of separation of powers identifies such systems as “Delegative Democracy”[i]. In these systems the parliamentarians make use of their position to trade favors and make richer their friends and family instead of representing the people that elected them. In the other hand the President/ Prime minister (depending on the form of government) exercises so much power over the political structures, because of this control he can negate the nominal separation of powers. It looks obvious that Albania and Russia share a lot in this view at least in the present Putin and Berisha seem to belong to the same school of governance.

[i] Guillermo O’Donnell, “Delegative Democracy”, Journal of Democracy 5:1 (1994): 55-69

3 Komente

Alidea, nice work honey smiley.  (Pak gjera te vockla ne anglisht, po si x-gjuhe te huaj qe e ke nuk te merren parasysh lol.)

Ndersa per nga permbajtja, nga ana historike paralelizmat, aspektet e perbashketa apo te ndryshme, do kisha vecuar disa gjera te tjera.  Pushteti absolut monark deri nga shek 19-20 ne Rusi, por ashtu si ne Shqiperi, perkrah nje popullesie me perqindje te larte feudale.  Mungesa e nje klase "te mesme" apo "borgjeze."  E ndersa shteti si entitet ka qene "vendas" ne Rusi, ne Shqiperi, per 5 shekuj ka qene i huaj.  Kjo ka nje efekt jo vetem ne menyren e qeverisjes, por dhe ne psikozen e shoqerise.  E cila ndryshon midis asaj ruse dhe shqiptare. 

Ndersa periudha e viteve 90-t ne Rusi nuk mund te lihet vetem me "while under Yeltsin because of having an efficient opposition such powers were well divided, and because Yeltsin himself was the one who managed this constitution, in the other hand under Putin the separation of powers is blurred."  Kriza ekonomike e me vone politike si rrjedhoje e presioneve ("reformave&quotsmiley nga US, IMF, World Bank (qe me vone jane kritikuar nga vete entitetet ne fjale) ben te mundur ardhjen ne pushtet te Putin dhe perqendrimin e pushtetit ne duart e tij.  Ndersa ne Shqiperi periudha e tranzicionit ka pas karakteristika te tjera.  Rrjedhimisht edhe klasa politike.

Shume e vertete Monda, me thene te drejten  ishte nje  pune qe e kam bere brenda disa oreve si   short paper, ne fakt  e vura ketu vetem sepse njekohesisht trajton  dhe menyren e qeverisjes shqiptare.

 Indeed we are still living in a delegative democracy


p.s behu e gjalle te pijme ca birra smiley

Thjesht per muhabet ai komenti, jo si kritike smiley.  Rusiologjia (sovietologjia) ka qene shkence me vete.  Me kujtohet nje prof e imja (gjithashtu, adviser) qe thoshte se "te gjithe neve, sovietologeve na ra si bombe kur nje dite te bukur, papritur e pa kujtuar, na u shperbe ish (apo ne te njejten kohe) dizertacioni i doktoratures."  Ne mos gaboj, ene Kondi Orizi, si me sovietologji u mor ne shkolle.  

Ndersa menyra jone e qeverisjes, pervec barcaletave qe ia themi vetes, vertete ka nevoje per studim.  

ps: hajde mi goce i pime ne buze te detit, shoqnine e ke ketej smiley.  Vetem jo dite te diele pasdite, se shpirti ne maje te hundes na ka ardh lol.  1 ore e gjys me u kthy n'shpi, per nje distance kilometrash qe numerohen nga gishtat e nje dore. 


Për të komentuar tek Peshku pa ujë, ju duhet të identifikoheni ose të regjistroheni (regjistrimi është falas).