Albania, country in southern Europe, located in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula on the Strait of Otranto, the southern entrance to the Adriatic Sea. The capital city is Tirana.
Albania was declared independent in 1912, but the following year the demarcation of its boundaries by the great powers of Europe (Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia) assigned about half its territory and people to neighbouring states.
Ruled as a monarchy between the World Wars, Albania emerged from the violence of World War II as a communist state that fiercely protected its sovereignty and in which almost all aspects of life were controlled by the ruling party.
But with the collapse of other communist regimes beginning in 1989, new social forces and democratic political parties emerged in Albania.
That shift reflected the country’s continuing orientation toward the West, and it accorded with the Albanian people’s long-standing appreciation of Western technology and cultural achievements—even while retaining their own ethnic identity, cultural heritage, and individuality.