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The cornerstone of Balkan power projection: Austro-Hungarian war aims and the problem of Albanian neutrality, 1914–1918

Fried, Marvin Benjamin (2012) The cornerstone of Balkan power projection: Austro-Hungarian war aims and the problem of Albanian neutrality, 1914–1918. Diplomacy and Statecraft, 23 (3). pp. 425-445. ISSN 0959-2296

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Abstract

This article discusses the under-researched topic of Austro-Hungarian foreign policy towards Albania during the First World War. It argues firstly that Albania's location was geo-strategically vital to both Austria-Hungary and Italy, and that only co-operation helped keep Albania's neutrality intact and generally protected the country against its hostile neighbours. The analysis then outlines that when the Austro–Italian alliance broke down in 1915, Austria-Hungary attempted to secure Albania's neutrality as a means of exercising indirect control over the country. Finally, once Central Power troops conquered most of Albania, the highest civil-military echelon in Vienna suffered serious strains as the Foreign Ministry attempted to retain Albanian independence and neutrality whilst the army desired its annexation. The Albanian neutrality case study is a prime example of a state unable to ensure or even influence its own neutrality by force, diplomacy, or the trade of vital resources, and whose geo-political position made control of the region vital. Drawing upon Hungarian and German-language sources, this article addresses a striking omission in First World War Balkan historiography, discusses a forgotten neutrality example, and provides insights into Austro-Hungarian policymaking towards this vital Adriatic territory.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/fdps20/current
Additional Information: © 2012 Taylor & Francis
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
Sets: Departments > International History
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2012 10:53
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/46468/

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