Disaggregating Public Opinion on the Ethnic Conflict in Macedonia

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Ringdal, Kristen;Simkus, Albert; & Listhaug, Ola (2007) Disaggregating Public Opinion on the Ethnic Conflict in Macedonia , International Journal of Sociology 37(3): 75–95.

This article presents a multilevel analysis of the variation in Macedonian public opinion on two key issues: (1) perceptions of the causes of the conflict during 2001; and (2) support for the rapid implementation of the Ohrid agreement, which was a vital part of the end of hostilities. This analysis disaggregates the differences among Macedonians on these issues on the basis of a three-level model where the municipalities constitute the highest level; the intermediate level, neighborhoods, is represented by the sampling clusters; and the lowest level is represented by the individual respondents. We assess the relative importance of geographical unit versus individual differences for these beliefs and attitudes, and seek to explain these with geographical contextual variables and individual attributes. These analyses are based on data on approximately 2,500 adult respondents to national Macedonian surveys conducted during November-December 2003. We find a significant degree of ethnic Macedonian-ethnic A lbanian polarization, which makes other individual-level determinants insignificant or trivial in effect. However, we do find considerable significant variation across municipalities and clusters, after taking into account respondent's ethnicity. The significance of such contextual variables as violent events in the area and the proportion of Albanians differs depending on the issue and the geographical units involved.

Authors

Kristen Ringdal

Kristen Ringdal

Professor of Sociology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; National Coordinator for Norway, European Social Survey Project

Albert Simkus

Albert Simkus

Professor, Department of Sociology and Political Science NTNU.

Ola Listhaug

Ola Listhaug

Programme Leader CSCW WG 6: Values and Violence; Professor of Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology