Although the 2015 political crisis in Macedonia received significant global media coverage, the crisis' deep context has been almost completely ignored. As such, the highly-charged and opaque events that gripped the small Balkan state after January 2015 have not been properly understood- leading to confused and controversial decisions from the United States, the European Union and local political leaders, that left the country mired in uncertainty and political turmoil.
In The Macedonian Mosaic: Pieces of Insight from the Pre-Crisis Years, readers are treated to an insider's exclusive view of the events and trends that shaped Macedonia during the formative years of 2009-2014. This chronologically-ordered compilation of analyses, interviews and other reports - many not previously available publicly - presents a much-needed corrective to the misinformed reporting of foreign media and diplomats both before and during the crisis. Written from the ground-level perspective of one of the leading experts on Macedonian affairs, this 322-page study shows, in comprehensive detail, how the political and social conditions for the 2015 crisis developed over a long period in which specific trends emerged, and in which identifiable strategies and tactics were repeatedly witnessed in public affairs. As such, an eventual crisis of the sort witnessed since early 2015 was not the unexpected and extraordinary 'scandal' depicted by world media; it was merely the amplified continuation of politics as usual, by the same (and other) means. In its extensive and meticulous coverage of past elections, political decisions and events, the book reveals the reasons for several key factors, including: -how the Western diplomatic obsession with resolving the 'Macedonian Name Issue' with Greece influenced political events and preferences -why the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski became estranged from the Western powers- while it nevertheless retaining the support of the majority of Macedonians in successive electoral victories, marked by overtures to nationalism and urban renewal such as the Skopje 2014 building program and large-scale foreign investments -how the opposition SDSM of Branko Crvenkovski (and later, Zoran Zaev) conversely oriented itself toward Washington and Brussels- and how the party's failure to transform itself following constant electoral defeats created the conditions by which NGOs/CSOs funded by foreign governments and foundations (notably, that of billionaire financier George Soros) could take it over -how the Gruevski government's pro-investment policy fundamentally affected its choice of priorities and orientation towards strategic partners like Qatar, Russia, China, Britain, Germany, Italy and the US -how security challenges were met - and not met - including challenges like illegal migration, paramilitary and terrorism plots, Islamic extremist movements, foreign intelligence penetration and organized crime -why the still-unresolved mystery of foreign intelligence networks active in Macedonia during the target period is crucial to understanding how the 2015 crisis would be handled- and who was most affected by the dismantling of key networks. While not a definitive history of modern Macedonia, this seminal work constitutes the only comprehensive study of its kind. Written by an American analytical expert with 14 years of constant journalistic activity on the Macedonian terrain, The Macedonian Mosaic brings together unsurpassed experience with insight. Finally, at the heart of The Macedonian Mosaic lies a hope: "if other, future crises cannot be averted, perhaps at very least they can be understood properly." Providing the sort of insight that can lead to political risk awareness and conflict prevention is a key contribution of The Macedonian Mosaic to regional peace and stability.