James Horncastle, Pawn that would be King: Macedonian Slavs in the Greek Civil War, 1946-49, διδακτορική διατριβή, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Canada 2016
The Macedonian Question has confounded academics, politicians and the people of the Balkans since the nineteenth century. While countries have resolved the territorial component of the Macedonian Question, the critical and confusing problem surrounding the ethnic and linguistic identity of the people of the region continues to be the source of international debate. Part of the reason for this confusion is because the history of the Macedonian Question is shrouded in nationalist polemics. The role of the Macedonian Slavs involvement in the Greek Civil War is particularly contentious and embedded in nationalist polemics, which has impacted academic inquiry. This dissertation argues that the preponderance of Macedonian Slavs within the communist forces during the Greek Civil War influenced the actions of all the major actors involved, and has been a significant factor in shaping the modern Macedonian national identity. Equally important was that the Macedonian people’s cognizance of their contribution to the conflict initially allowed them to pursue political and social objectives that would have been impossible under conventional circumstances. Ultimately, regional and international politics prevented the most idealist sections of the Macedonian Slavs from achieving their goal of an independent Macedonian state. Those elements that followed the Yugoslav vision, which developments in the Greek Civil War helped facilitate, however, did achieve the goal of an independent Macedonian political entity. This dissertation demonstrates that one cannot gain a comprehensive understanding of the Greek Civil War without examining the role of the Macedonian Slavs and Macedonian Question in the conflict.
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