CITSEE publications: 'Citizenship in the new states of Southeastern Europe'


The CITSEE team is pleased to announce the publication of a special issue of the journal “Citizenship Studies” dedicated to “Citizenship in the New States of Southeastern Europe”. It contains an introduction and seven comprehensive papers on the existing citizenship regimes across the former Yugoslavia. This special issue of Citizenship Studies comes out of the first phase of research conducted under the aegis of the CITSEE project, during which the research team concentrated on in-depth country case analyses with the aim of giving readers a better understanding of post-Yugoslav citizenship regimes, as seen in their wider political and societal context.

In their Introduction, Jo Shaw and Igor Štiks briefly present the CITSEE project, locating it within the broader frame of current trends in citizenship studies. They define the notion of citizenship regime as it is used in the following analyses, before highlighting some critical and common elements that emerge in the papers, including the ongoing processes of European integration and enlargement evident in the region.

Jelena Vasiljević’s article Imagining and managing the nation: tracing citizenship policies in Serbia explores the most salient features of the reshaping of the state–territory–nation triangle in Serbia over the last 20 years, through the lenses of its citizenship regime. Her paper looks at the ways in which the dominant political narrative in Serbia has imagined political community and accordingly managed its members.

The article Understanding Montenegrin citizenship by Jelena Džankić maintains that although the citizenship regime of Montenegro was generated amidst domestic political competition, it has also been significantly affected by regional and international political forces. Applying Bellamy's concept of the lineages of citizenship to the case of Montenegro, it explains how citizenship polices were used to manage the fragile political milieu within this weak and unconsolidated post-Yugoslav state.

Gëzim Krasniqi’s article Overlapping jurisdictions, disputed territory, unsettled state: the perplexing case of citizenship in Kosovo examines the nascent citizenship regime in Kosovo since the country's declaration of independence in 2008. It argues that the defining characteristics of the Kosovan citizenship regime are: (1) adoption of the ‘new-state’ model (i.e. inclusion into its citizenship of all Kosovo residents); (2) tension between civic and multicultural conceptions of citizenship on the one side, and ethno-national conceptions on the other; and (3) its contested nature and overlapping jurisdictions.

The article Conceptualising citizenship regime(s) in post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina by Eldar Sarajlić examines the complex citizenship regime in contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina, including its historical origin and social implications. It argues that the Bosnian citizenship regime, established in Dayton in 1995, actually implies existence of a plurality of regimes and conceptions of citizenship in this country, which frames political outcomes and affects the status of human rights.

Ljubica Spaskovska’s article The fractured ‘we’ and the ethno-national ‘I’: the Macedonian citizenship framework discusses some of the salient features of the post-2001 Macedonian citizenship model, understood not only as a legal formula, but also as a social and cultural fact. By using the analytical lens of two competing conceptions of nationhood and citizenship (political vs. ethno-cultural), the article analyses the phenomenon of ‘fractured citizenship’, as reflected in the apparent tension between an official, elite-driven discourse of the Macedonian model of multi-ethnic democracy on the one hand, and diverging ethno-culturally coded initiatives, ideologies and perceptions, on the other.

The article Framing the citizenship regime within the complex triadic nexuses: the case study of Croatia by Viktor Koska provides an analysis of the changes of the Croatian citizenship regime from its independence till today. It argues that over the last two decades, Croatia established a distinctive citizenship regime marked by stable citizenship legislation and changing boundaries of recognized rights for different categorizes of Croatian citizens. The stability of the status dimension of citizenship can be traced to the unchallenged primacy of the nationhood conceived as a transnational community of ethnic Croats.

Finally, Tomaž Deželan’s article In the name of the nation or/and Europe? Determinants of the Slovenian citizenship regime attempts to revise the somewhat distorted image of Slovenia as a ‘success story’ of the transition to modern liberal democracy by explaining how different political visions, and their clashes and coalitions over two decades of independent statehood, influenced the Slovenian citizenship regime, which is rife with undemocratic practices. Drawing on the ‘nationalizing state’ approach, the paper illuminates two dominant political agendas: the nationalizing state agenda and the Europeanizing state agenda. However, both agendas are frequently intertwined and provide legitimacy to political actors across the ideological spectrum depending on the circumstances.

The CITSEE team is very pleased to see the fruits of its work published and thus would like to thank all the researchers, anonymous reviewers and journal editors for their outstanding commitment and cooperation.

You can follow CITSEE's work via the website, the web magazine Citizenship in Southeast Europe, on twitter (@citseeteam) and on Facebook.