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Area Handbook for Albania   By:

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Co Authors

Eugene K. Keefe

Sarah Jane Elpern

William Giloane

James M. Moore, Jr.

Stephen Peters

Eston T. White

Research and writing were completed on July 17, 1970

Published January 1971

DA PAM 550 98

=Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 73 609651=

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402 Price $2.50


This volume is one of a series of handbooks prepared by Foreign Area Studies (FAS) of The American University, designed to be useful to military and other personnel who need a convenient compilation of basic facts about the social, economic, political, and military institutions and practices of various countries. The emphasis is on objective description of the nation's present society and the kinds of possible or probable changes that might be expected in the future. The handbook seeks to present as full and as balanced an integrated exposition as limitations on space and research time permit. It was compiled from information available in openly published material. An extensive bibliography is provided to permit recourse to other published sources for more detailed information. There has been no attempt to express any specific point of view or to make policy recommendations. The contents of the handbook represent the work of the authors and FAS and do not represent the official view of the United States government.

An effort has been made to make the handbook as comprehensive as possible. It can be expected, however, that the material, interpretations, and conclusions are subject to modification in the light of new information and developments. Such corrections, additions, and suggestions for factual, interpretive, or other change as readers may have will be welcomed for use in future revisions. Comments may be addressed to:

The Director Foreign Area Studies The American University 5010 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20016


Albania, or, as it proclaimed itself in 1946, the People's Republic of Albania, emerged from World War II under the control of the local Communist movement, which later adopted the name Albanian Workers' Party. The most remarkable feature of Albanian life during the 1960s was the rigid alignment with Communist China in that country's ideological struggle with the Soviet Union. In mid 1970 the country continued to be Communist China's only European ally and its mouthpiece in the United Nations. Propaganda broadcasts in several languages, extensive for such a small, undeveloped country, continued to emanate from the capital city of Tirana, constantly reiterating the Chinese Communist line and making Radio Tirana sound like an extension of Radio Peking.

Albania's most notable tradition from ancient times has been one of foreign domination. Brief periods of independence have been overshadowed by long centuries of subjection to alien rule. Foreign rulers never seemed able or willing to subject the Albanian peasants to the complete authority of a central government. Throughout their history Albanians, protected by the remoteness of their mountain villages, often enjoyed a measure of autonomy even though they lacked national independence. The foreign domination plus the limited autonomy developed in the people a spirit of fierce independence and a suspicion of neighboring states that might have designs on their territorial integrity.

Militarily undeveloped but unwilling to submit to partition by its neighbors, Albania has held on precariously to autonomy since World War II by becoming a client state first to Yugoslavia, then to the Soviet Union, and then to Communist China. In all three relationships Albania has maintained its independence but it has not been able to establish itself as a viable economic entity.

The Area Handbook for Albania seeks to present an overview of the various social, political, and economic aspects of the country as they appeared in 1970... Continue reading book >>

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