Former Yugoslavia

The countries of the former Yugoslavia

Europe, 'Kill Bill' Style

Iker Barbero
Europe, 'Kill Bill Style'

Within Europe there is much talk of the 'other' at both national and supranational levels. While Europe seeks to strengthen its borders, some political parties have tried to capitalise on the fears of their electorates. Recently, a European Commission video that was supposed to promote the EU enlargement (targeting domestic audiences but also those of candidate countries in Southeast Europe) has proven controversial in its depictions of otherness. Iker Barbero discusses the issue in his Oecumene blog, reposted by CITSEE

(Also available at

Citizens of ‘Yugosphere’ and ‘United Kingdoms’?- An interview with Tim Judah

Yugosphere revisited

I never said that the ‘Yugosphere’ was an exclusive one-way option. I always said that it was a sort of roof and underneath it you have a kind of ‘Serbian sphere’, a ‘Croatian sphere’, an ‘Albanian sphere’ (which is half in and half out of the ‘Yugosphere’), and even a ‘Bosniak sphere’. So you can simultaneously have a foot in both. For example, you can be a Serb living in Drvar (in the federation part of Bosnia and Herzegovina), your son goes to university in Belgrade, you do business with people in Croatia or Sarajevo, and you visit your aunt in Macedonia.

Interview with Tim Judah conducted by Igor Stiks

CITSEE staff publications in 2011

Staff publications

In 2011, the CITSEE team, which includes researchers based at the University of Edinburgh (Jo Shaw, Igor Stiks, Dejan Stjepanovic, Nick Holdstock and Gezim Krasniqi) as well as associated researchers based elsewhere (Jelena Dzankic, Jelena Vasiljevic, Ljubica Spaskovska, Tomaz Dezelan, Viktor Koska, Eldar Sarajlic, Slobodan Karamanic, Simonida Kacarska, Davor Marko, Natasa Pantic and Marko Zilovic), have published a substantial amount of academic work in 2011, including books, edited volumes, journal articles, research analyses and policy papers.

In 2011 CITSEE research fellows and associated scholars produced 18 working papers, including 7 case studies on citizenship regimes in the states that emerged after the break up of Yugoslavia (which are available for free download on the CITSEE website).

The Yugosphere- A Useful Concept?

Nick Holdstock

If the concept of a Yugosphere has any utility, it is probably in the cultural sphere. In both the literary and dramatic spheres, there are reports of joint publishing ventures and cross-border productions, and a general renewal of the cultural ties disrupted by the Yugoslav conflict. However, whilst this trend is to be applauded, such trends are far from unique to the region- co-operative financing, with sources from multiple countries, is a commonplace of film, television and theatre productions.

How should we refer to the seven countries that comprised the Yugoslav federation? ‘The former Yugoslavia’, the most common phrase, is somewhat problematic. Though factually correct, it is also a backward-looking description, one that privileges what these countries were over what they are, and might become.

How to (de)mobilise citizens- an interview with Chip Gagnon

Political Demobilisation

One of the really impressive things about Yugoslavia in the 1980s is the degree of political mobilisation throughout the area. People organised, people demonstrated. It takes a lot of organisation to get the kinds of protests that we saw in Serbia, for example, or the Sarajevo anti-war protests in 1992. So the very fact that citizens were mobilising is incredibly threatening to elites. The demobilisation strategy takes a lot of work though, but it is really not a long-term strategy. It’s a short-term strategy and in both Croatia and Serbia it bought time for the elites to shift their basis of power.

Interview with Chip Gagnon conducted by Gezim Krasniqi and Igor Stiks.

The Risks and Benefits of Ethnic Citizenship by Florian Bieber

Kin-state paternalism

Millions of people in Southeastern Europe are citizens of more than one state. Among the many ‘multi-citizens’ of Southeastern Europe there are probably a million who have received passports from countries they have never lived in.

Millions of people in Southeastern Europe are citizens of more than one state. Many acquired this status when they were gastarbajteri [guestworkers]in Germany, Austria and elsewhere in Western Europe; others received a second passport as they fled the wars that accompanied the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

The Past of Central Europe is the Future of Europe, an interview with Zygmunt Bauman

A brighter future for Europe?

Whenever Rome conquered a new territory, not only its residents were granted Roman citizenship, but the statues of their local gods were added to the imperial Pantheon. The frame of thought behind such a strategy was kept alive through part of the modern era in parts of Central Europe which stayed away from the west-European religious wars, nation-state building and Westphalian settlement. One can suppose today that the past of Central Europe is the future of an increasingly diasporic Europe…

Interview with Zygmunt Bauman conducted by Igor Stiks

How do you see the direction of contemporary transformations of modern citizenship?

The Other Europe 20 Years Later, an interview with Jacques Rupnik

A boat with no direction?

Jacques Rupnik, professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), on unfinished states, hollow democracies in Eastern Europe, and EU enlargement.

Interview with Jacques Rupnik conducted by Igor Stiks and Gëzim Krasniqi

Cities and Citizenship, an interview with David Harvey

City and citizens

I would prefer to disaggregate the idea of citizenship. I always felt that wherever I went I sort of carried a notion of citizenship with me no matter where I was and no matter what city I was staying in. I always felt that I was a citizen of that city. And I think actually this is kind of a nice feeling because you feel like you belong anywhere and I think it would be a great idea if cities would declare themselves free zones of citizenship.

Interview with David Harvey conducted by Igor Stiks

What, in your opinion, does it mean to be a citizen today? Citizenship is generally related to states, but most of the population of these states live in cities.

Reporting the war, an interview with Allan Little

A different vision in 1984 by Jarrett Blaustein

So, what was interesting to me as a journalist was the conflict between prevailing narratives: the narrative of ‘all sides are equally guilty’, which believes that these people have been living like this in the Balkans for centuries, versus what I believed was the case, which was that this is a battle between two different kinds of political aspirations, one which is similar to our own in Western Europe, and the other one, which is much darker in the European tradition.

Twenty years after the Yugoslav war, Allan Little talks about the challenges of reporting the conflict, and the duties of the war correspondent.

Interview conducted by Jo Shaw and Igor Štiks

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