Western Balkans: It’s Complicated An Inter-ethnic Communication Interdisciplinary Examination

Blerim Limani (1), Driton Majlichi (2), Mehmet Aslan (3), Shalva Kikalishvili (4), Daniel Brown (5)
(1) Department of Liberal Arts- American University of the Middle East, Kuwait, Kuwait,
(2) Institute for Sociological, Political, and Juridical Research, University of St. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, North Macedonia, North Macedonia,
(3) Department of Liberal Arts- American University of the Middle East, Kuwait, Kuwait,
(4) Department of Liberal Arts- American University of the Middle East, Kuwait, Kuwait,
(5) Department of Liberal Arts- American University of the Middle East, Kuwait, Kuwait


The western Balkans are persistently grappling with its unfavorable inter-ethnic reputation. Although political toleration has been consistently proposed as a solution for inter-ethnic tensions, this paper argues for the adoption of the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) framework, offering a fresh perspective to an old problem. Rooted in the 'communication perspective', CMM provides a crucial platform for stakeholders to interact meaningfully. This study aims to present compelling reasons for embracing dialogical methods in interethnic disagreements. The CMM model focuses on empowering participants with knowledge to collectively shape their social realities. To illustrate, we introduce a visual communication model seamlessly integrating political toleration and CMM concepts. This model establishes a dialogical platform, ensuring equal participation from public and civil society stakeholders, and fostering a harmonious social world. In conclusion, CMM offers an alternative communication perspective crucial for those involved in interethnic dialogue. By adopting this approach, individuals and groups can overcome challenges, opening new avenues for understanding and collaboration in the pursuit of peaceful co-existence.

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Blerim Limani
blerim-limani@aum.edu.kw (Primary Contact)
Driton Majlichi
Mehmet Aslan
Shalva Kikalishvili
Daniel Brown
Author Biographies

Blerim Limani, Department of Liberal Arts- American University of the Middle East, Kuwait

Blerim Limani is an Assistant professor at the American University of the Middle East, Kuwait. He holds a PhD from South-East European University in Public Governance and Administration (2019) and an MA degree from Ball State University in Organizational Communication and Development (2008). He served as a communication adviser to Public Institutions in Kosovo and worked as a consultant for different public and private organizations, including international organizations such as WHO. His main research interests focus on intercultural and health communication, stakeholder communication in place branding, and organizational communication.

Driton Majlichi, Institute for Sociological, Political, and Juridical Research, University of St. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, North Macedonia

Daniel Brown works in Kuwait at the American University of the Middle East. Here he teaches World History, having previously focused on nineteenth and twentieth-century history courses at Queen's University Belfast. Daniel received his PhD at Queen's in 2012, completing a thesis on the Civil War and Reconstruction era in the United States. He has worked in education since the completion of his PhD. After finishing his PhD, Daniel's research focus has shifted to twentieth-century social and political history with a focus on soccer and society. 

Mehmet Aslan, Department of Liberal Arts- American University of the Middle East, Kuwait

Mehmet Aslan is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Pedagogy from Albania, currently based in Kuwait; He has worked as an Instructor and Academician for higher educational institutions in Albania and Kuwait for the last 13 years. His educational background involves various student profiles with different age groups and many activities he`s been involved in and organized. Apart from his academic and research background, he also took administrative roles in the institutions he has been working with. Some of his research interests include Developmental and Educational Psychology, Attachment, School Attachment, and Bonding Models.

Shalva Kikalishvili, Department of Liberal Arts- American University of the Middle East, Kuwait

Dr. Shalva Kikalishvili is an Assistant Professor at The American University of The Middle East (Kuwait), Liberal Arts Department. Shalva obtained his doctoral degree from the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in 2015. Shalva’s research focuses on militarism and political development, various historical events, education and innovations. His Academic publications include Russian Intervention in the Georgian Abkhazian Conflict: A History of Tensions and Turmoil. Unlocking the Potential of GPT-3 in Education: Opportunities, Limitations, and Recommendations for Effective Integration, Participation of Georgian Military Forces in International Iraq Peace Building Operation (2003-2008). Paul Bremer And The U.S. Policy Towards Iraq In 2003-2004. President George Walker Bush and the Second Gulf War. The origins of the Second Gulf War. Origins of the Informational Warfare.

Daniel Brown, Department of Liberal Arts- American University of the Middle East, Kuwait

Dr Driton Maljici is an assistant professor with a PhD in sociological sciences at the Institute for Sociological, Political, and Legal Research - St. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. His research interests focus on educational sociology, multiculturalism, social conflict, and interethnic relations. "The Persistence of Hope," a collection of 100 stories about the refugee crisis, is his first book. He has been involved in numerous research projects, presented at various international conferences, and coordinated numerous initiatives for humanitarian and legal assistance for refugees. During the refugee crisis in Macedonia from 2015-2017, he served as the coordinator for the psycho-social support project for refugees led by the NGO La Strada. He also coordinated the legal assistance project for refugees led by the NGO LEGIS. In addition to being part of the European Social Survey (ESS) team, he also works on the project for social conflict in the Western Balkans led by the Institute for Sociological, Political, and Legal Research.

Limani, B., Majlichi, D., Aslan, M., Kikalishvili, S., & Brown, D. (2024). Western Balkans: It’s Complicated An Inter-ethnic Communication Interdisciplinary Examination. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 24(1), 132–143. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v24i1.324

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