Citizenship

The Politics of Return, Inequality and Citizenship in the Post-Yugoslav Space

Biljana Đorđević
Politics of return

This study shows how particular politics of return are often a result of negotiations among political actors within citizenship constellations – a term first used by Rainer Bauböck to denote structures in which individuals’ statuses are dependent on individuals’ being concurrently connected to several political entities. For instance, host states are interested in reducing economic burdens that displaced populations put on their shoulders and, if they are powerful enough, they can impose return to countries of origin by way of conditioning it with state recognition, financial assistance, accession to international organizations, visa free regime etc.

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.

Post-war compensation and its impact on gender and citizenship

Oliwia Berdak
War veterans

The weakness of all three states in the face of global economic competition has increasingly put pressure even on the revered model of citizen-soldier. In times of indebtedness and austerity, there is a greater competition for state resources and contestations of the current schemes of redistribution. The pressure to contribute economically is very much present, and the perfect citizen is no longer the soldier-citizen but the working and consuming citizen. The implications of this statement go much beyond the former Yugoslavia. In the age of corporate soldiers and wars fought by drones, there is a risk that states stop caring about the quality of their ‘stock’, adding yet another reason to shed state responsibility for their populations.

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.

CITSEE discussion: Varieties of Citizenship in a wider Europe

citizenship in Europe

‘Varieties of citizenship in a wider and more territorially differentiated Europe’ was a panel discussion organised as part of the CITSEE symposium ‘Varieties of Citizenship in Southeast Europe’ (6-7 June, 2013) in Edinburgh. 

Varieties of citizenship in a wider and more territorially differentiated Europe’ was a panel discussion organised as part of the CITSEE symposium ‘Varieties of Citizenship in Southeast Europe&rs

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.

Uneven and hierarchical citizenship in Kosovo

Gezim Krasniqi
Hierarchical citizenship

Despite the constitutionally and legally enshrined promise of equality in Kosovo, differentiated citizenship together with a political context defined by an ethnic divide and past structural inequalities, as well as uneven external citizenship opportunities, contributed to the emergence of ‘hierarchical citizenship’, where some groups (communities), or ‘rights-and-duty-bearing units’, are ‘more equal than the others’. In other words, the formal equality of citizens and communities is contradicted by the socio-political reality where some communities are better off, thus leading to the emergence of a hierarchy of communities in Kosovo. 

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.

New publication: Citizenship Rights by Jo Shaw and Igor Stiks

CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS

This volume presents some of the most important reflections and studies on citizenship rights, both past and present. The contributions provide both thorough description and incisive analysis and place the question of citizenship rights into a wider historical, social and political perspective. As such, it offers a timely introduction to the current debates surrounding the rights and duties of both citizens and non-citizens alike, with a focus on the many ways in which citizenship is contested in the contemporary world. 

In today’s world all claims tend to be founded on or justified by ‘rights’, be they political, social, economic or private.

Albania to grant citizenship to ethnic Albanians in the neighbourhood and diaspora

Gezim Krasniqi
Albanian passport

While it is still too early to speculate about the practical implications of this decree, its adoption together with recent plans to grant citizenship to foreign investors will without doubt transform the conception and configuration of Albanian citizenship and can potentially impact upon the already complex citizenship constellations in the region.  

(Also available at www.eudo-citizenship.eu)

‘We are all in this together’: a civic awakening in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Igor Štiks
Bosnian protests

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, a seemingly trivial administrative issue ignited an unprecedented movement of civic resistance across the country's old dividing lines. Understanding the message of defiance was directed against them all, politicians tried the old trick of 'divide and rule' – only to be ridiculed by protesters.

This piece originally appeared in Open Democracy digital commons. 

Urban struggles: Activist citizenship in South-East Europe II

Karlo Basta
Sarajevo protests

While the divisions in civil society tend to reflect those in the political sphere, the events of the past several weeks could be cause for cautious optimism. Each ‘wing’ of the civil society might make a difference in its own domain (entity or canton). In order to do this, they need to sustain this level of activism, not only via protests, but through continuous organisation, awareness-raising campaigns and advocacy. It is through such activism that they can hope to make politicians in their own sub-units more accountable. In the circumstances facing Bosnian citizenry, democratisation of the state must start at the local and entity (or cantonal) level.

Bosnian Protests: Between Post-Ethnic Revival and a Stillborn Civil Society

Urban struggles: Activist citizenship in South-East Europe I

Ljubica Spaskovska
Skopje 2014

Regardless of the context-specific background of Skopje’s urban battles, there is a trans-national story of urban activism to be told, from Istanbul to London, in particular targeting undemocratic practices of usurpation of public/green spaces either by authoritarian leaders or private investors. A wave of neo-conservative politics, tendencies of desecularization, corruption, control over media and growing social and economic gaps actually form the background of public discontent, creative activism and urban sociality and cross-ethnic solidarity. Mapping a new historical narrative onto the capital’s face has come at the cost of hundreds of millions of Euros of public money (official figures are at 208 million) and without a wider public debate and transparent decision-making. Political elites seem to willingly overlook the fact that “the past cannot give us what the future has failed to deliver”.

The Battle for Skopje – urban citizenship and the legacy of the past

People make cities, but cities make citizens.

Richard Rogers

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