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Abstract

This thesis started as an attempt to answer the question, what does the so-called 'name issue' mean to Macedonians?" It went on to analyze and portray the political, historical, legal and human rights aspects of the "name issue" between Greece and Macedonia and to depict its effects on the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as on Macedonians in Greece and beyond. Along the way, it became a collection of the testimonies of the witnesses and victims of the root causes of the "name issue" and the repercussions thereof. It ended as a story about a people's struggle for the right to their identity and language in the international political world order, as citizens of their own sovereign country – the Republic of Macedonia – and of that same people's struggle for the right to their identity and language as a minority in neighboring Greece. As such, this thesis is also an inquiry into the aspects of (or lack of) cultural rights and the right to an identity – both ethnic and national – as a part of the right to self-determination in the 21st century world, and as a part of the rights of minorities in the European Union.

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