Monthly Archives: February 2010

First CITSEE Working Papers on citizenship in post-Yugoslav states are available!

After first nine months, the CITSEE researchers have produced six working papers dealing with citizenship regimes and policies in the former Yugoslavia and the post-Yugoslav states. They are all available for download on the CITSEE website. Read on for short descriptions of each of the papers.

In the first working paper “The Europeanisation of Citizenship in the Successor States of the Former Yugoslavia: an introduction”, Jo Shaw and Igor Štiks present the basic framework of the CITSEE project. It covers the basic objectives, approach and methodology of the study, which develops an approach to studying citizenship through so-called ‘constitutional ethnography’. The paper explains some basic terminological definitions used in the project, and reviews the key areas where CITSEE is expected to contribute to intellectual debate and theoretical understandings.

In the second working paper titled “A Laboratory of Citizenship: Shifting Conceptions of Citizenship in Yugoslavia and its Successor States” Igor Štiks focuses on shifting conceptions of citizenship in Yugoslavia, from its establishment in 1918 to its disintegration in 1991, and in its successor states from early 1990s to the present. It analysis the history of Yugoslavia and its successor states as an instructive and rare example of how citizenship can be used for different and even opposing goals: as a tool of national integration in the first Yugoslavia (1918-1941), as a tool of socialist re-unification after the failure of the previous national integration and the ensuing inter-ethnic conflicts (1945 to the mid-1960s), as a tool of cooperation among nations and their republics in a socialist multinational (con)federation (beginning in the late 1960s and continuing until 1990), as a tool of fragmentation and dissolution (1990-1991) and, finally, of ethnic engineering in Yugoslavia’s successor state. It also shows that during the last decade citizenship was used both as a tool of reconciliation and of new divisions. It remains to be seen if the introduction of European citizenship, following the eventual EU integration of all of Yugoslavia’s successor states, will be yet another experiment in a century-old Balkan laboratory of citizenship

The Working Papers 3-6 are the case studies of the citizenship policies in today’s Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. These four papers are the first substantial English-language studies of the subject of citizenship in these new, or relatively new, states.

“Transformations of Citizenship in Montenegro: a context-generated evolution of citizenship policies” by Jelena Dzankic

This paper argues that in Montenegro, unlike in the other successor states of the former Yugoslavia, citizenship was not a mechanism of ethnic homogenization. Rather, it was a tool of political manoeuvering that changed in content alongside the changes of the political environment. The paper includes a historical background of citizenship policies, an analysis of the current citizenship regime, and an overview of the current debates.

“The challenge of building an independent citizenship regime in a partially recognised state: the case of Kosovo” by Gezim Krasniqi

This paper analyses efforts to create an independent citizenship regime in the partially recognised state of Kosovo. It argues that, in a situation where there was no previous independent baseline for citizenship, Kosovo opted for the ‘new state’ model in defining and constituting its citizenry. Thus, by defining the new body of citizens in terms of territory and residence (though with certain conditions and limitations), the ‘new born’ state differs substantially from most of other countries that emerged after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. This paper includes a historical account of citizenship policies in the territory of Kosovo, a detailed analysis of the new Kosovar citizenship regime, and an overview of the current political debates related to citizenship.

“Macedonia’s Nationals, Minorities and Refugees in the Post-Communist Labyrinths of Citizenship” by Ljubica Spaskovska

The paper provides an overview of the evolution of the Macedonian citizenship regime in view of the political and social transformation processes since 1945 and in particular after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. By arguing that the different stages in the development of the citizenship regime were significantly conditioned by the wider context and external international factors, the paper seeks to capture the interplay between the internal socio-political and institutional changes, regional developments and the understanding of citizenship. This paper includes a historical account of citizenship policies on the territory of Macedonia since the Ottoman Empire, a detailed analysis of the current citizenship regime, as well as an overview of the current citizenship-related political debates.

“The Bosnian Triangle: Ethnicity, Politics and Citizenship” by Eldar Sarajlic

This paper aims to analyse contemporary citizenship issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the context of transition, conflict and identity politics. It tries to contextualize the development of citizenship policies and practices in historical perspective and to assess the current state of affairs. It develops the claim that citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been set within a triangle of social and political relations in which ethnic identity and politics play the other two sides. This triangle – citizenship, ethnic identity and politics – represents key anchor points around which discussions on the Bosnian statehood revolve. The paper also provides a historical overview of citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina in different phases, including a detailed account of the current citizenship regime.

For more information on particular country visit the country profiles at the CITSEE website.

First CITSEE workshop organised

On 20 January 2010 CITSEE (the Europeanisation of Citizenship in the Successor States of the Former Yugoslavia) organised a workshop with its research fellows and associate researchers. The aim of this workshop was to present the early results of our collective research on the citizenship regimes of the new states of South Eastern Europe.

The first session began with Jo Shaw and Igor Štiks presenting the basic framework of the CITSEE project, objectives, approach and methodology of the study. Felicita Medved gave a brief description of the evolution of the Slovenian citizenship legislation, both in terms of the initial determination of its citizenry at the inception of the state in June 1991 and the rules governing the acquisition and loss of citizenship with a particular focus on the changes that the legal regime on citizenship has undergone in Slovenia in fifteen years of statehood. Igor Štiks focused on shifting conceptions of citizenship in Yugoslavia, from its establishment in 1918 to its disintegration in 1991, and in its successor states from early 1990s to the present, with a special emphasis on the citizenship legislation and administrative practices. Eldar Sarajlic concentrated on citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina which has largely been set within a triangle of social and political relations in which ethnic identity and politics play the other two sides.

The afternoon session started with Ljubica Spaskovska who provided an overview of the evolution of the Macedonian citizenship regime in the light of interplay between the internal socio-political and institutional changes, regional developments and the understanding of citizenship. Jelena Džankic presented the Montenegrin case, where citizenship was a tool of political manoeuvring that changed in content alongside the changes of the political environment. Finally, Gëzim Krasniqi outlined some of the challenges that Kosovo as a newly independent state with partial international recognition and hybrid political status is facing in building an independent citizenship regime.

In the meantime, some of these presentations were further expanded and developed into CITSEE Working Papers and can be downloaded here.

Pictures from the workshop:

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