CITSEE Story

What’s sexuality got to do with it? On sexual citizenship

Katja Kahlina
LGBT Pride

Although accommodating some positive changes, sexual citizenship continues to generate further exclusions. In addition to leaving different sexual practices and relations that do not comply with the new normativity out, the newly achieved gay rights are increasingly becoming a marker of “civility” and “superiority” that, together with women’s rights, serve as a means through which discrimination of migrants and military attacks are justified in the context of the “war on terror” after 9/11.

“[…] despite the imperatives of globalization and transnationalism, citizenship continues to be anchored in the nation, and the nation remains heterosexualized.”
(Bell and Binnie, 2000, p. 26)

‘What’s in a name?’ The Dilemmas of Re-Naming Yugoslav Gypsies into Roma

Julija Sardelić
8th of April

In today’s post-Yugoslav sphere, many young Romani intellectuals are proud of their Romani heritage. Although they encounter many obstacles due to discrimination, they fully identify with the term ‘Roma’. However, most Roma still find themselves on the margins of their societies. Whilst they sometimes refer to themselves as Roma, in other instances as gypsies, others use alternative group names such as Egyptians and Ashkali (the latter especially in Kosovo). 

It was the spring of 1970 when the 18-year-old Ludvik Levačić was conscripted into the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) to perform his compulsory 18-month military service with his fellow male Yugoslav citizens. He vividly remembers his first day, when an officer wrote in his army ID booklet that he was of Slovenian nationality (nacionalnost).

You're in the Army, Now...

Oliwia Berdak
Partisan heroes

For a long time, military conscription was how an exclusively male citizen’s duty was expressed, both in Yugoslavia and its successor states. This duty became extremely complicated in the 1990s in the context of the changing state borders, and thus the changing legal claims to men's bodies residing within them. Conflicting narratives about the war — sometimes portrayed as an external aggression, sometimes as a legitimate defence, and sometimes as a civil war — further complicated this matter.

2011 was the year when the last of the former Yugoslav states, Serbia, abolished military conscription.

Becoming citizens: the politics of women’s emancipation in socialist Yugoslavia

Chiara Bonfiglioli
Postwar Sarajevo

In 1946, for the first time, women’s rights as political, social and economic beings were inscribed in the new Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as a result of women’s participation in the antifascist Resistance during World War Two. In the 1970s, thirty years after the inscription of women’s rights in the Yugoslav Constitution, the country had undergone a rapid process of modernization and urbanization. Nonetheless, socialist politics appeared progressive in comparison to the process of “retraditionalisation” of gender relations which took place in the 1990s.

In 1947 Didara Dukagjini, a seventeen-year-old ethnic Albanian girl raised in a wealthy family in the town of Prizren, was told by her father that she had to abandon her feredža/ferexhe, the full Islamic veil that covered her head and face when she ventured outside the house.

Scottish citizenship: now is the time to start discussing it

Jo Shaw
Holyrood

A Scottish separation would be a unique event in the history of new state creation. The factor that makes it unique is that it would be the first case of the break up of an EU Member State, with both states aspiring – we assume – to EU membership. It is, of course, true to say that some of the state break-ups that have occurred in Europe since 1989, such as the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the independence of the Baltic states, and the break up of Yugoslavia, have occurred under the shadow of EU law. But it is clearly going to be a different type of situation where the existing state is already a member of the EU, both succeeding states are likely to aspire to continued and uninterrupted membership, there are EU citizens exercising their EU citizenship rights in both states (and citizens from both those states who are exercising their rights elsewhere), and where EU law has now – as it has since 1993 – stepped into the political domain by requiring that EU citizens should be able to vote in local elections under the same conditions as nationals on the basis of residence in the host state.

I was recently invited to give evidence before the Scottish Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons.

Sportizenship: the complex links between citizenship, sports and national identity

Jelena Dzankic
Citizenship and sports

Sport is not only a manifestation of a physical contest. It is also a manifestation of cultural and national elements of a society. National sporting contests are often said to instil a sense of community in a state. By attending and supporting different sporting events, people reinforce the identity dimension of citizenship. Supporting a team emphasises an individual’s link to his or her polity, be it a city, a sub-state entity or a country.

With the Olympic buzz in the air, I often come to think about states, and flags, and the feelings that the exercise of physical competition inspires. Over the thirty years of my Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav life those states, flags and feelings have changed. Many times. I remember when at the Olympics I cheered the country whose tricolour flag had a big red star in the middle.

The Road to Sokolac

Andy Aitchison
The road to Sokolac

Securing the benefits of ‘Greater-European’ citizenship for forensic psychiatric detainees in Bosnia

The fragmentation of authority in BiH is as evident in the country’s prison systems as in any other sector. State institutions have only a recent and limited role in the field of criminal detention. For now, sentenced inmates are held in entity facilities. Pre-trial inmates are held by the entities and in more recently established facilities under the authority of the Brčko Judicial Commission and the state Ministry of Justice.  The entity systems house sentenced detainees from the courts of Brčko District and the state-level Court of BiH, but that should change in 2013 with the long-awaited opening of a state-level prison for pre-trial and sentenced inmates. The sharing of responsibility for the execution of penal sanctions is not unique to BiH, but in this case it is complicated by the recent history of conflict and the structures which result from the Dayton settlement.

Securing the benefits of ‘Greater-European’ citizenship for forensic psychiatric detainees in Bosnia

The afterlives of the Yugoslav red passport

Stef Jansen
YU passport

Amongst broad layers of the populations in BiH and Serbia, I found over the years, the SFRY passport allowed people to articulate resentment of their current entrapment in terms of their own past, both remembered and misremembered. Notwithstanding its uniqueness on a global stage, they asserted an entitlement to smooth visa-free mobility like the one they had lost. The red passport allowed everyone who was old enough, regardless of how much they had actually travelled, to say that they could have.'Normal lives' in Yugoslavia, then, were not only recalled in terms of living standards, order and welfare, but also of what we could call a sense of geopolitical dignity. Here, the red passport joined forces with Tito.

During a summer dawn in 2005, our šinobus, the small local train from Subotica (in Serbia) to Szeged (in Hungary) suffered engine failure in a village just south of the new EU-funded €10m high-tech Hungarian-Serbian border post.

Never Turkish enough: Struggles over citizenship and national identity in Turkey

Kerem Öktem
Turkish flag

One could argue that the AKP’s neo-Islamist policies of de-secularisation and the return of religion in the public space has helped to furnish with full citizenship rights the religiously conservative mainstream, which the Kemalist modernisers had kept from power. And indeed, the growing number of religious men and women in every-day life, in the economy and in public service suggest a process of reconciliation between the state and the conservative middle-classes. This new coalition has also brought some conservative Kurds, who have renounced secular Kurdish nationalism, into the fold of a more Islamic Turkey. Yet neither secular Kurds and Turks, nor the Alevis, members of a non-Orthodox Muslim community, see themselves represented by this new hegemonic alliance. In terms of every-day citizenship, they feel discriminated against, excluded from public tenders and government services.

For the fleeting observer, the Republic of Turkey had long been a place of certainty when it came to issues of citizenship and national identity: its people constituted a proud, secular nation, with an ostensibly distant Islamic heritage but a clearly Europeanised political elite.

The Art of Political Crisis: Can we Compare Belgium and Bosnia?

Eldar Sarajlic
Bosnia and Belgium

The recent political crises in Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina have made this comparison particularly apposite. Both countries have broken the existing records for the time it took their political elites to form a government after the general elections. The Belgian elections took place in June 2010; the government was formed in early December 2011. The Bosnian elections took place in October 2010; the government was formed only in late December 2011. However, both countries have gone through a serious political crisis that at times threatened the stability of their respective political systems. Scenarios of dissolution for both countries became more than hypothetical models.

Since Bosnia and Herzegovina’s creation as a consociational state in 1995, the parallels between it and Belgium have been striking.

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