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Balkan Peninsula, Communist state, Adriatic Sea, Tirana, Ottoman Empire

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Albania (Albanian Shqipëria, “Country of the Eagle”), republic in southeastern Europe, officially known as the Republic of Albania. It lies along the northwestern edge of the Balkan Peninsula.

Separated from Italy by only 76 km (47 mi) of the Adriatic Sea, Albania, throughout its history, has been occupied by Italian powers expanding eastward into the Balkans or by Balkan powers expanding westward. In the 1500s Albania came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire (centered in what is now Turkey), and did not gain its independence until 1912. From 1944 to 1990 Albania was a staunchly Communist state, and in 1991 Albania began its transition to a democratic state and market economy. The capital and largest city is Tirana.


Pettifer, James. Blue Guide Albania. Norton, 1996. A travel guide to Europe's least developed and most isolated country.

Vaughan-Whitehead, Daniel. Albania in Crisis: The Predictable Fall of the Shining Star. Edward Elgar, 1999. Solid academic analysis of a country's struggle with reconstruction.

Vickers, Miranda. Albania: From Anarchy to a Balkan Identity. New York University Press, 1997. An authoritative account of Albania's turbulent times during the 1980s and 1990s.

Vickers, Miranda. The Albanians: A Modern History. St. Martin's, 1995. A thorough history of the nation.

Zickel, Raymond E., and Walter R. Iwaskiw, eds. Albania: A Country Study. 2nd ed.. Government Printing Office, 1994. Contains basic information on economy, government, business, culture, and social conditions.


Bugajski, Janusz, B.A., M.Phi|. Director of East European Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies. Author of Nations in Turmoil: Conflict and Cooperation in Eastern Europe and other books.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

Balkan Peninsula, Communist state, Adriatic Sea, Tirana, Ottoman Empire, market economy, Balkans, southeastern Europe, democratic state, largest city, Turkey, capital, Italy, Eagle, history, transition, independence, Country, rule

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