LAUNCHING AN ACADEMIC ON-LINE JOURNAL
“NEW BALKAN POLITICS”
New Balkan Politics, is the first Macedonian on-line journal in the area of social sciences. A group of scholars, are responsible for the launching of this journal. Its primary goal is to cover topics in the arenas of political theory and international relations (security, defense, ethno-political conflicts, etc.), in Macedonia and, more specifically, the Balkans.
Unlike similar journals that cover analogous themes, New Balkan Politics, will have a multidisciplinary character, and will strive to create a better understanding of contemporary, democratic processes in the Balkans. The primary function of this Journal is to offer academic analyses on the region from a comparative point of view thus, encouraging different points of view and new perceptions. Each issue will focus on one central topic to further promote the aforementioned function and to address the complex and delicate topics concerning the Balkans, in both a theoretical and historical manner.
New Balkan Politics will offer an opportunity to analyze and to debate topics and issues concerning the Balkans that will inevitable need to be reassessed and evaluated. Due to an increasingly interrelated world, these pressing issues will be examined in relation to global development and, more importantly, to European integration.
This Journal is emerging at a time when there is a newfound interest in the economical, political, both nationally and internationally, and scientific developments in the Balkans. Unfortunately, this newfound attention is due to the tragedies that the Yugoslav nations have endured throughout the last ten years: misunderstandings, ethnic conflicts, wars, refugee crises, material and spiritual destruction. Thus, giving the rest of the world a reason to label the Balkans as an area of endemic instability.
All scientific and political groups in the world that collect and exchange information and analyses on the Balkans cannot possibly be listed. Currently, many universities now offer courses concentrating on the state of affairs in the Balkans. As a result of these courses and the numerous academicians who have devoted their entire careers to the Balkan Issue, have published articles concerning the Balkans during the last several years.
It is unfortunate that political scientists from the Balkans have never had the time or the opportunity to tell their “story.” At any rate, it is absurd that others have shown a greater interest in affairs concerning this region than we ourselves have. On that note, any possibility, like the one that New Balkan Politics is offering, for an open discussion about the current state of our country and future developments must be seized upon. This is absolutely necessary because one of the main reasons for the conflicts in the states of the former Yugoslavia was the ignorance of the people who, for a long time, lived in a closed world, knowing only one side of the “truth.”
Each day, there are many opportunities, such as New Balkan Politics, to exchange opinions and to participate in open debates concerning significant issues with members of the academic world from the Balkan States. These opportunities will help to foster relationships between members of the academic and political arenas. As these relationships develop, they can join together to face and to overcome the prejudices from the past and to recognize that they have a great deal in common; the most important being that all Balkan societies become democratic, prosperous and open. Such societies will be able to understand and accept the new European spirit of cooperation and integration.
New Balkan Politics surfaces at a time when three magazines concerning social sciences in Macedonia - Perceptions, Dialogue and Balkan Forum - have ceased to exist for a number of different reasons. The people whose work is connected with social sciences in Macedonia have nowhere to publish their views and research, or to compare their work with those of others in the process of verification. We should not allow that to happen. In this day and age, technological developments offer a rapid exchange of information and the world (at least the developed countries) is slowly becoming a “global village.” This on-line journal, New Balkan Politics, will serve two main purposes. One, to expand Macedonian and Balkan media space by providing an opportunity to incite debates in the field of social sciences since the on-line form is so easily accessible and two, to increase the amount of information released from the Balkans, in order to, attract a new circle of readers as well as authors. Every electronic magazine, this being no exception, has an Internet site that transcends local boundaries and enters the world of strong competition of ideas and knowledge.
Published in the first issue of NBP, winter 2001