Former Yugoslavia

The countries of the former Yugoslavia

Subversive Citizens and Urban Battlefields

subversive citizens

In an interview with Open Citizenship, Srećko Horvat and CITSEE member Igor Štiks spoke about their work on the Subversive Festival in Zagreb and what it means for the city of Zagreb and urban citizenship in general, as well as about the complexities of subversion and activism today in Europe.

In an interview with Open Citizenship, Srećko Horvat and CITSEE member Igor Štiks spoke about their work on the Subversive Festival in Zagreb and what it means for the city of Zagreb and urban citizenship in general,

‘What happens after the square’s empty?’- An interview with Costas Douzinas

empty square

So the question as far as I'm concerned is that lots of people have now in a sense rejected that older type of social organisation, the social contract that you were talking about based on debt and consumption. And the reason I think a widespread demand for different ways of relating to others, relating to the community and dealing with power. So I'm optimistic about that. It seems to me you’d expect that whether or not the left in other parts of the world win elections, I think we've moved perhaps away from the model of the 1990s and the 2000s and a greater sense of community, of going back to certain common values and virtues and idea of the good, the public good, of the Commons, has returned. This is extremely hopeful. 

Costas Douzinas is Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London. He is well known for his work in Human Rights, Aesthetics, Postmodern Legal Theory and Political Philosophy.

Is being ‘Scottish’ a matter of birth, descent or residence?

Professor Jo Shaw
scotish citizenship

If Scotland votes yes next year, then the Scots will have to decide who they are - who gets to be a Scottish citizen? And can they still be a British citizen too? And if so, does that mean London gets a say? Jo Shaw explains...

This piece originally appeared in Open Democracy digital commons. 

Being an Activist: Feminist citizenship in Yugoslavia and post-Yugoslav spaces

Adriana Zaharijević
Activist citizenship

If feminist citizenship in SFRY has to be seen in the context of dissidence, while feminist citizenship in the context of nation-building needs to be assessed by its relationship to belonging and borders, then the post-Yugoslav feminist citizenship has to be understood in terms of political re-appropriation and re-politicization of Yugoslav socialist heritage. This re-politicization needs to be seen in the context of rigorous critique of socio-economic relations brought by neoliberal capitalism, but within the specific post-conflict and post-socialist circumstances. 

This is an extended summary of a longer paper that was originally published in the CITSEE Working Papers Series and is available for download here.

Gendering Social Citizenship: Textile Workers in post-Yugoslav States

Chiara Bonfiglioli
Textile industry

In post-Yugoslav states, intergenerational solidarity networks based on family ties have become a safety net for many citizens, and particularly for women, who are traditionally in charge of child caring and social reproduction, while at the same time being often the main breadwinners in the household. The devaluation of women’s labour and the precarity of women on the labour market in the post-Yugoslav space reinforce women’s dependency on extended family networks. While the importance of family networks in informal economic practices was common during socialism as well, in post-socialist times, however, when job security in the public sphere has largely faded, the family – as well as informal economic practices - have an even stronger significance for everyday survival.

This is an extended summary of a longer paper that was originally published in the CITSEE Working Papers Series and is available for download here.

Romani subaltern in the context of transforming post-Yugoslav citizenship regimes

Julija Sardelić
Romani flag

Romani minorities in the post-Yugoslav space had uneven access to citizenship, which was specific to their socio-economic and also culturally stigmatised condition as the Subaltern, who was not able to voice its plight or it was ignored. Romani individuals who were positioned as non-citizens at their place of residence were in the most unfavourable position. However, even those minority individuals, who were able to access citizenship at their place of residence, found themselves in uneven position in comparison to other citizens. All post-Yugoslav states, also due to the dialogue with international organisations and EU integration processes, introduced legislation for minority protection, which included also Romani minorities. However, in most cases (excluding Slovenia), Romani minorities were included into the generic legal acts on minority protection, which did not recognise the fact that they are culturally stigmatised as well as have a different socioeconomic position than most other minorities. 

This is an extended summary of a longer paper that was originally  published in the CITSEE working paper series and is available for download here.

'A vibrant democracy needs agonistic confrontation' - An interview with Chantal Mouffe

Agonism

My view is that what democracy should try to do is to create the institutions which allows for conflict - when it emerges - to take an agonistic form, a form of adversarial confrontation instead of antagonism between enemies. But when antagonisms already exist to transform them is of course is much more difficult but it's not impossible and I think one of the good examples is Northern Ireland. Because in Northern Ireland we had for a long time an antagonistic conflict between Protestants and Catholics. They were treating each other as enemies. Now since the Good Friday Agreement and with the institutions that have been created there is no more antagonism, there is an agonism. It doesn't mean that these people agree, they do disagree but they disagree in a way that they no longer see the other community as an enemy to be destroyed.

Chantal Mouffe is a Belgian political theorist well known for her conception of radical and agonistic democracy. She is currently Professor of Political Theory at Westminster University where she also directs the Centre for the Study of Democracy.

Activist citizens in the Balkans

Nick Holdstock
Why did they mobilise

‘Why did they mobilise?’- a panel discussion on Social Struggles in Ex-Yugoslavia, a new book that explores the diverse forms of activist citizenship that have swept the region over the last few years. The discussion took place between contributors Boris Kanzleiter, the head of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Belgrade office, Andrea Milat, an activist and journalist from Croatia, Primož Krašovec, a Slovenian activist and theorist and its editor Michael G. Kraft. The discussion was chaired by Stipe Ćurković, the editor of the Croatian edition of Le Monde diplomatique, at the Subversive Forum in Zagreb in May 2013.

‘Why did they mobilise?’- a panel discussion on Social Struggles in Ex-Yugoslavia, a new book that explores the diverse forms of activist citizenship that have swept the region over the last few years.

CITSEE Symposium: Varieties of Citizenship in South East Europe

CITSEE Symposium June 2013

The CITSEE project held a symposium on June 6 and 7, 2013, with papers drawing on the various CITSEE clusters and two roundtables. In addtion to the Edinburgh based CITSEE team, and wider members of the CITSEE community based in many different universities, we also brought toget

Territoriality and Citizenship: Membership and Sub-State Polities in Post-Yugoslav Space

Dejan Stjepanović
Bilingual street names in Istria

One of the problems of equating polities with ethno-majoritarian territories, the paper argues, is their unidimensionality. This is especially true for those polities without historical precedents or strong functional logic that would underpin the territorial boundaries. This, as some of the cases illustrate, can cause numerous problems for the viability of these polities and cement ethnicity as the only criterion defining political membership as well as rights in the long run. A few cases of multi-ethnic polities still exist but these are exceptions rather than the rule. 

 

 

This is an extended summary of a longer paper that was originally published in the CITSEE Working Paper Series and is available for download here

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