Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Controversia: An International Journal of Debate and Democratic Renewal 4 (2006): 69-84. A publication of IDEA: International Debate Education Association.


An Albanian social movement called Mjaft ! serves as a synecdoche for wider trends unfolding in Southeast Europe, where student, driven public deliberation is enlivening the political landscape not only in Albania, but also in Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Romania. What do these initiatives suggest about the political dynamics of linkages formed between academic debating groups and civil society organizations? Can public debate democratically energize South, east European citizenries? What general insight does this case study reveal about argumentation as applied critical practice? This paper explores these questions by drawing from collaborative research conducted by the authors under the auspices of the Southeast European Youth Leadership Institute, a summer workshop for Balkan high school students and community leaders, hosted by Towson University and Wake Forest University and co~sponsored by the U.s. Department of State and the Open Society Institute.