Citizenship

‘The reassertion of the political’- an interview with Tariq Ali on the future of European citizenship

The reassertion of the political

I think the European Union promised a great deal and delivered very little.  Voting rights seem to have become totally irrelevant because whoever you elected, it didn’t matter which party, they were carrying out the same elite policies. Greece has made a difference and this will inspire people.  But in order for that to happen you do need to have political instruments and political parties.  It can’t just happen by occupying public spaces.  You know, you need politics for that. And so what we are witnessing in Greece is, in a way, the reassertion of the political and I think that will be extremely important in saying ‘yes, we are citizens; we don’t just have, you know, basic rights.  We have political rights and we want to exercise these political rights and link them to social and economic rights.'

Tariq Ali is a novelist, journalist and political campaigner whose most recent books include Protocols of the Elders of Sodom and Other Essays (2009), Night of the Golden Butterfly (2010) and The Obama Syndrome (2010). In May 2012 he spoke at the Zagreb Subversive Forum, where he was interviewed by Nick Holdstock.

The Politics of Selecting by Origin in Post-Communist Southeast Europe

Marko Žilović
Street name changes

In deciding whether to seek access to a particular citizenship most people tend to be practically minded. However, the broader sum of these individual decisions, as well as the sheer symbolic potential of using citizenship to uphold special ties between a state and a particular group, have important implications for wider political issues, such as ethnic politics, the fortunes of political parties, control of diaspora organisations, and sometimes even the high international politics in the region.

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

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.

Naked city: On authenticity and urban citizenship. An interview with Sharon Zukin

Naked City

Scholars around the world have joined with political activists to speak of citizenship being the general framework of human rights and a more equitable access to resources.  In the US I think we have a legalistic understanding of citizenship, for the most part. Academics, of course, use citizenship to talk with other academics around the world about social rights. But most ordinary men and women in the United States think of citizenship in terms of documents – documents to be able to live and work in the United States. So citizenship, for me, reflects the concerns of my undergraduates and their families, many of whom are immigrants. Citizenship for me is a legal category.It is not the same as talking about social rights or the right to the city; it’s a legal understanding of national citizenship.

Sharon Zukin is Professor of Sociology at CUNY Brooklyn College, New York.

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.

Constitutional provision on EU citizenship – The case of Croatia

Tina Oršolić
Zagreb

Croatia is the first State to adopt a provision concerning European citizenship in its Constitution - none of the current Member States’ Constitutions include such an article. Of additional concern are the possible impacts that the constitutional amendment on EU citizenship might have on the exercise and enforcement of EU citizens’ rights in Croatia. Namely, there is a likelihood that the move to adopt the EU citizenship provision will be interpreted by both the citizenry and the judiciary as a suggestion, or worse, a requirement to rely on this constitutional norm instead of relevant EU law provisions when seeking to protect EU citizens’ rights in Croatia.

As a candidate country for European Union accession, Croatia has recently introduced a number of legal reforms in order to fulfill the membership criteria. One of these concerns the amendments made to the Croatian Constitution in June 2010.

The politics of numbers and identity in Albania

Gezim Krasniqi
The politics of numbers and identity

The current debates on nationality and census in Albania follow the ones in Macedonia where the census was stopped last October due to irregularities in the field, as well as disagreements between the Macedonian and Albanian members of the commission. Undoubtedly they attest to the highly volatile nature of politics of numbers and identity in the Balkans.

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

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

Bosnia’s third citizens: a story of Brčko’s exception

Dejan Stjepanović
Bosnia's three pillars

The citizenship regime in Brčko and BiH today is a product of a complex peace settlement. BiH has a two-tiered system of citizenship, in some ways similar to the former Yugoslav or even European citizenship regime. Citizens of BiH are by rule citizens of either of the entities, the Federation of BiH or Republika Srpska. However, the Brčko District, a de facto third entity with matching competencies of the entities, lacks its own citizenship.

 “Orciny’s the third city. It’s between the other two. It’s in the dissensi, disputed zones, places that Besźel thinks are Ul Qoma’s and Ul Qoma Besźel’s. When the old commune split, it did not split into two, it split into three.”

Can money buy citizenship?

Jelena Džankić
Citizenship and money

A number of countries facilitate the naturalisation of wealthy individuals who invest in their economy. This practice is called ‘investor citizenship’, ‘citizenship by investment’, or ‘economic citizenship’. Investor citizenship can be obtained either at the authorities’ discretion, or through specific programs which lay out in detail the amount of the investment and other criteria for naturalisation.

Just the other day I was watching the hit musical ‘Mamma Mia’, and I was reminded of the lines of one of the leading songs: ‘Money, money, money… always sunny, in the rich men’s world’. The song refers to the lavish lifestyle that money can provide one with. Yet money can literally take a rich man to a sunnier place.

Syndicate content