CITSEE completes 7 case studies

Stairs; a photo by Jo Shaw

The CITSEE team has completed the 7 case studies on citizenship regimes in all the states that emerged after the breakup of the Yugoslav Federation. This marks the completion of the first phase of research and brings the number of working papers produced so far by the CITSEE researchers and associated scholars to 17. By offering an in-depth analysis of the citizenship issues in each country, as well as the legal and political transformations that occurred across the region, these papers represent a unique and substantial contribution to the study of citizenship in the post-Yugoslav context. Moreover, some of these papers, whose content is listed here below, are the first substantial English-language studies of the subject of citizenship in these states.

 “A Citizenship Beyond the Nation-State: Dilemmas of the ‘Europeanisation’ of Bosnia and Herzegovina” presents original research undertaken by CITSEE Associate Researcher Eldar Sarajlić. The paper offers an in-depth analysis of citizenship dilemmas in Bosnia and Herzegovina and builds upon the findings published in the previous paper by the same author within our working paper series. This paper deals with the tension between the predominant ideas of citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina and those imposed upon the country by the EU integration dynamic. It tries to argue that the tension between citizenship as a concept moulded within the historical and conceptual parameters of the European nation-state and the complex sociopolitical reality of Bosnia and Herzegovina that clearly diverges from the nation-state model, creates frictions and erodes the democratization process.

Citizenship as a Tool of State-Building in Kosovo: Status, Rights and Identity in the new State” by Gëzim Krasniqi examines the emergence of an autonomous citizenship regime in Kosovo, with a particular focus on citizenship as a tool of state-building. The paper argues that in the case of Kosovo citizenship is meant to serve as a link between a war-torn community of people and a new polity based on principles of equality and all inclusiveness, or, as a tool of political integration within the new political entity, which aims at replacing divisions of ethnicity, religion or social status. In addition, it looks at the impact of the tension between the ethno-cultural and political aspects of nationhood in the ongoing state-building process in Kosovo.

Ljubica Spaskovska’s “In Search of a Demos: Transformations of Citizenship and Belonging in the Republic of Macedonia” explores transformations in relation to citizenship regimes and belonging in the Republic of Macedonia, and builds upon Spaskovska’s earlier paper published within our working paper series. The author places her exploration of citizenship and belonging within the framework of five consecutive, and at times overlapping, phases: the (zero) socialist phase; the consolidation phase; the contestation phase; the intervention phase and the stabilisation phase. She argues that these phases were/are accompanied by a corresponding specific type of citizenship: supranational; abortive ethno-national; ethnizenship and new supranational (European) citizenship. Through analysis of context-specific and regional developments, Spaskovska explores the phenomena of the politicisation of citizenship, minority rights, diaspora and Europeanisation in addition to providing an insight into the different citizenship regimes Macedonia has gone through and the implications of their transformations and amendments at different points in time

In the working paper “Lineages of Citizenship in Montenegro”, Jelena Dzankic employs Richard Bellamy’s concept of the lineages of citizenship, which analyses the normative aspects of citizenship by looking at interactions between ‘state and society within a given national political community’, in exploring the evolution of citizenship policies in Montenegro. Thus, in unveiling the processes and the context that shaped the Montenegrin citizenship policies at different times, Dzankic examines the active relationship between three major aspects of citizenship: legal, political and identity/emotional. Following a historical overview of the development of citizenship policies, this paper focuses on the recent political circumstances that have shaped the normative aspects of citizenship. As such, it also triggers questions about what layer of identity the citizenship legislation in fact encapsulates. The final part of the paper examines the multivalence of citizenship in the context of Europeanisation.

In his paper “The evolution of the Croatian citizenship regime: from independence to EU integration” Viktor Koska argues that the Croatian case displays almost all of the typical controversies and challenges associated with the former Yugoslavia successor states’ regimes: ethnic engineering through citizenship policies, state exclusion and self exclusion of ethnic minorities from the core citizenry and liberalisation of the citizenship regime in the light of EU integration. By closely scrutinising the citizenship policies relating to two main target groups, the Croatian diaspora and the Serb minority, this paper argues that the Croatian citizenship regime has evolved through two stages of development over the last two decades: the citizenship debate during the first stage was concerned primarily with the ‘status dimension’ while the debate during the second stage moved towards the ‘rights dimensions’ of citizenship.

Citizenship in Slovenia: the regime of a nationalising or a Europeanising state?” by Tomaž Deželan draws on a ‘nationalising state’ approach to demonstrate the nature of membership in Slovenia, a polity that emerged on the ruins of the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). By considering the influence of the old regime on the incipient conception of citizenship and the nation-building process, the paper depicts the core dynamic in the field for the last two decades. By exploring such issues as the initial determination of citizenry, the regulation of minorities, dual citizens and refugees, popular attitudes, the political elite’s attitudes towards non-ethnic Slovenes, and the impact of Europe, the paper provides evidence for the primacy of an ethno-cultural conception of membership, which is constrained by the embeddedness of the Slovenian citizenship regime within international and supranational frameworks.

Finally, in a paper entitled, “Citizenship and belonging in Serbia: in the crossfire of changing nationhood narratives” Jelena Vasiljević shows how the changing citizenship regimes in Serbia translate the varying narratives and perceptions of nationhood into the realities of political community. Apart from providing necessary historical context, the paper offers an insight into the important themes and topics of Serbian nationhood narratives and their legal and political emanations, developments in post-2000 Serbia and changes within the legal framing of citizenship status as well as the changes (or, in some respects, only partial changes) in the overall political climate and the way in which the current citizenship regime and dominant political narrative imagine Serbia’s political community and accordingly deal with groups and identities. The last segment of the paper briefly discusses the impact of Europeanisation taken both as a process of a political transformation and as a new emerging transformative discourse.

Having prepared comprehensive papers on the seven existing citizenship regimes across the former Yugoslavia (which are available for free download on the CITSEE website, the CITSEE researchers are also attempting to provide new original analysis of these ever-changing regimes by placing them in a wider European context. Results of these new case studies will be published in a special issue of “Citizenship studies” journal (forthcoming in early 2012) with the aim of giving readers a better understanding of post-Yugoslav citizenship regimes, as seen in their wider political and societal context.