This book is the first comprehensive examination of the citizenship regimes of the new states that emerged out of the break up of Yugoslavia. It covers both the states that emerged out of the initial disintegration across 1991 and 1992 (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Macedonia), as well as those that have been formed recently through subsequent partitions (Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo). While citizenship has often been used as a tool of ethnic engineering to reinforce the position of the titular majority in many states, in other cases citizenship laws and practices have been liberalised as part of a wider political settlement intended to include minority communities more effectively in the political process. Meanwhile, frequent (re)definitions of these increasingly overlapping regimes still provoke conflicts among post-Yugoslav states.
This volume shows how important it is for the field of citizenship studies to take into account the main changes in and varieties of citizenship regimes in the post-Yugoslav states, as a particular case of new state citizenship. At the same time, it seeks to show scholars of (post) Yugoslavia and the wider Balkans that the Yugoslav crisis, disintegration and wars as well as the current functioning of the new and old Balkan states, together with the process of their integration into the EU, cannot be fully understood without a deeper understanding of their citizenship regimes.
The book’s contribution to the study of these issues has been praised by a number of distinguished scholars, among them Jacques Rupnik, of Sciences Po – Paris / CERI.
“This examination of the ways in which citizenship has been reclaimed, suppressed, violated, and redefined provides a crucial and much neglected insight into what happened to the inhabitants of former Yugoslavia over the last two decades. This study — of broader significance beyond the case of the Balkans — reveals what happens to citizens and political communities when a multinational federal state disintegrates and new nation-states are being built under close scrutiny of another would-be federal project in the making. Shaw and Štiks’ volume provides a most valuable contribution to the subject combining a European perspective with the view from within.”
Aleš Debeljak, of the University of Ljubljana, was equally fulsome in his praise.
“This collection of essays on the vicissitudes of citizenship in the successor-states to Yugoslavia is a timely reminder of the pernicious consequences the ethnicisation of political membership has for individuals and for communities. The varieties of citizenship experience are here illuminated with a passionate, yet scholarly debate about the possibilities of multiple and overlapping forms of citizenship in a multi-ethnic federal state, informed as they are with the collapse of the country that tried out many models before giving way to ethnic singularity and the attendant closing of the Yugoslav mind. These specific lessons from the Yugoslav past read at times as disturbing premonitions of the European future, urging us to look into ways of political membership with a reason and emphatic solidarity.”
The volume contains studies that previously appeared in the special issue of Citizenship Studies dedicated to “Citizenship in the new states of South Eastern Europe”.
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