5 Pages


ByMario Apostolov

It seems now possible to answer the questions raised in the beginning of this study: are conflicts involving confessional minorities in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean an inherent feature of the fragmented identity of these minorities or an institutional problem; and is secularisation the dominant trend in contemporary political relations? The problem is, indeed, one of badly conceived or badly functioning institutions accommodating various identities in the age of nation states. My research has, it is hoped, shown that the potential of conflict in the region stems from the problems in particular political arrangements, which leave windows of opportunity to communal entrepreneurs. The collapse of the Lebanese and Bosnian plural regimes and the marginalisation of the Copts stem from the malfunctioning of political institutions. The communal conflicts are also related to the lack of regional integration. Consequently, solutions should be sought in terms of improving the internal and international political regime. Religion still plays a role in politics as the focus of group identity, mobilisation and institution-building, yet the problem is not of doctrines but of political identities and social institutions.