Albania, officially the Republic of Albania is a country in Southeastern Europe. It borders Montenegro, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia and Greece. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and a coast on the Ionian Sea to the southwest.

Albania was a part of the Ottoman Empire until the early 20th century. After decades of unrest a major uprising exploded in the Albanian-populated Ottoman territories in 1912, on the eve of the First Balkan War. When Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece laid claim to Albanian lands during the war, the Albanians declared independence. After its independence, Albania suffered from a debilitating lack of economic and social development, as well as political instability. Unable to find strength without a foreign protector, Albania struggled between regional powers. During WWII, Albania was invited by both Italy and Germany. Some Albanians took a part in Muslim formations which helped German SS force in repression on Yugoslavian and Albanian resistance movements. Communist partisans fought Italian and German occupation forces as well as various nationalist Albanian partisans. However, they were victorious in World War II and took over the country which became communist immediately after that.

Enver Hoxha emerged as the dominant figures in Albania after WWII. He ruled the countries for nearly 40 years. Soon after his death in 1985, the government began to seek closer ties with the West in order to improve economic conditions, and initial democratic reforms were introduced including multi-party elections in 1991.