New CITSEE Working Papers Available

The CITSEE team is pleased to announce the publication of five new papers in its Working Paper Series on citizenship regimes in post-Yugoslav states.

In the working paper “EU citizenship and the edges of Europe”, Jo Shaw considers the prospects for EU citizenship in the current EU economic and political crisis. The paper contrasts the neglect of the concept of EU citizenship on the part of Member States, including their willingness to trample on many aspects of the free movement principle, with the interest in EU citizenship.

Marko Žilovic’s working paper “Citizenship, Ethnicity, and Territory: the Politics of Selecting by Origin in Post-Communist Southeast Europe” explains variations in preferential naturalisation regimes in post-communist Southeast Europe. The paper focuses on 12 different cases and argues that the politics of selecting by origin in post-communist Southeast Europe has been crucially shaped by differences (a) between old nation-states prone to act as external national homelands, newly emerging nationalizing states, and ethnically divided states; and (b) between the years of ‘thickened history’ in the early post-communist period and the later, politically calmer period after 2000.

The working paper “Europeanisation through mobility: visa liberalisation and citizenship regimes in the Western Balkans” by Simonida Kacarska, on the other hand, examines the implications of the visa liberalisation dialogues which took place between the European Commission and the national governments of the Western Balkans for the citizenship regimes of the countries concerned. Looking both at the formal benchmarking process and through interviews with stakeholders at the national level, the paper traces how the visa liberalisation process affected the status and rights dimension of citizenship in the region.

In the working paper “Territoriality and Citizenship: Membership and Sub-State Polities in Post-Yugoslav Space”, Dejan Stjepanovic deals with the issue of sub-state citizenship in the post-Yugoslav countries and focuses on the emergence and definitions of membership in sub-state polities. The paper analyses conceptions of nationhood and territorial compositions of these states, proceeds with the analysis of sub-state entities’ governance arrangements as a part of the states’ citizenship regimes and compares conceptions of nationhood and membership in state-wide and sub-state polities. The paper identifies four broad categories of sub-state polities and two diverging tendencies in the definition of membership in those.

Finally, Nataša Pantic’s paper, “Citizenship and Education Policies in the post-Yugoslav States” explores interactions between citizenship and education policies in six post-Yugoslav contexts, focusing on group and individual education rights, ethnocentric, multicultural and civic elements of citizenship in education policies, and the extent to which they encourage inclusive or exclusive concepts of citizenship. These interactions are explored by looking at education system structures, language and curricula policies. Universal and consociation education systems are distinguished, with the ethnocentric and exclusive citizenship concepts reflected in the context-dependent status of different minorities, and in the uses of education to perpetuate dominant ethnic groups at different levels. In addition, inclusive elements are highlighted in relation to the improving status of the Roma minority in education.

This brings the number of working papers produced so far by CITSEE researchers and associated scholars to 23, and shows our increased focus on thematic and comparative studies.

You can follow CITSEE’s work via the website, the web magazine Citizenship in South East Europe, on twitter (@citseeteam) and on Facebook.


New ECHR ruling on the case of the Erased in Slovenia

Kuric and others v. Slovenia, Application no. 26828/06 (GRAND CHAMBER)

(Prepared by Anja Lansbergen for the European Union Democracy Observatory on Citizenship)


Prior to 25 June 1991 – the day on which Slovenia declared independence from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (“SFRY”) – the applicants were citizens of both SFRY and one of its constituent republics other than Slovenia. They had acquired permanent resident status in Slovenia as SFRY citizens.

On 26 February 1992 the applicants became subject to the Aliens Act (Zakon o tujcih). As they had not applied for Slovenian citizenship within the required timeframe, their names were on this date deleted from the Register of Permanent Residents of Slovenia (Register stalnega prebivalstva).

The applicants claimed under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights that they had been arbitrarily deprived of the possibility of acquiring citizenship of the newly-established Slovenian State in 1991 and/or of preserving their status as permanent residents. They requested that permanent residence status be awarded to them retroactively, on the basis of the Constitutional Court's decision of 3 April 2003, and claimed awards for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as reimbursement of costs and expenses incurred in the proceedings.

On 13 July 2010 the Third Section of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the erasure of the applicants’ names from the Register of Permanent Residents was in breach of Article 8 of the Convention (Kuric and others v. Slovenia, Application no. 26828/06). The Court considered the totality of social ties between settled migrants and the community in which they are living constitute part of the concept of private life within the meaning of Article 8. Regardless of the existence or otherwise of a family life, the expulsion of a settled migrant thus constitutes interference with his or her right to respect for private life. This interference could not be justified as being “in accordance with the law” under paragraph 2 of Article 8 in light of the Slovenian Constitutional Court’s decision of 3 April 2003 that had declared the impugned measure to be unlawful. The Court required the Government of Slovenia to secure for the applicants the right to a private and/or family life and effective remedies in that respect, and invited the Government and the applicant to submit written observations on the financial award to be made to the applicants for any pecuniary or non-pecuniary damage resulting from the violations found.

On 13 October 2010 the Slovenian Government requested that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber.


Upholding the decision of the Third Section, the Grand Chamber ruled on 26 June 2012 that the erasure of the applicants’ names from the Register of Permanent Residents of Slovenia was in violation of Article 8 of the Convention.
In submissions made to the Grand Chamber, the Slovenian Government had not contested that the impugned measure constituted an infringement of the right under Article 8, and the Grand Chamber therefore found no reason to depart from the findings of the Third Section in this regard. The Grand Chamber thus turned to consider whether such infringement could be justified under the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 8. [§§339 – 340]

The Grand Chamber held that, having regard to the questionable foreseeability of the measure and in light of the Constitutional Court decisions of February 1999 and April 2003, the interference with the applicants’ Article 8 rights was not “in accordance with the law”. Despite the measure pursuing a legitimate objective (of creating a “corpus of Slovenian citizens” and thus to protecting the interests of the country’s national security), the regularisation of the residence status of former SFRY citizens was necessary in order to ensure that failure to obtain Slovenian citizenship would not disproportionately affect the Article 8 rights of the “erased”. The absence of State regulation to this effect and the prolonged impossibility of obtaining valid residence permits upset the fair balance which should have been struck between the legitimate aim of the protection of national security and effective respect for the applicants’ right to private or family life or both. For these reasons, the measures complained of were neither “prescribed by law” nor “necessary in a democratic society” to achieve the legitimate aim of the protection of national security, and consequently the impugned measure constituted a violation of Article 8. [§§341 – 362]

The Grand Chamber further concluded that the Slovenian Government’s failure to establish adequate and effective remedies in order to redress the alleged violation of Article 8 constitutes a violation of Article 13 of the Convention on the right to an effective remedy. [§§369 – 372]

In contrast to the decision of the Third Section, the Grand Chamber considered it necessary to rule on the issue of compliance with Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with Article 8. [§383] The Grand Chamber found that the effect of the “erasure” was that aliens could keep their residence permits, whereas citizens of the former federal State of which Slovenia was a constituent part were deprived of them. There was therefore a difference in treatment between two groups – “real” aliens and citizens of former SFRY Republics other than Slovenia – which were in a similar situation in respect of residence-related matters. [§§391 – 392]. This difference in treatment did not pursue a legitimate aim and therefore lacked an objective and reasonable justification [§394], and as such was in violation of Article 14.

The Grand Chamber required the Government of Slovenia to set up an ad hoc domestic compensation scheme within one year of the delivery of the judgment to compensate other potentially effected persons. [§§406 – 415] The Government was further obliged to pay non-pecuniary damages of €20,000 to each applicant, and €30,000 to the applicants jointly in respect of costs. The applicants’ claims for non-pecuniary damages were dismissed. [§§424 – 428]


CITSEE Updates: Activities and papers

Members of the CITSEE team recently returned from the 2012 ASN Conference in New York, where two well attended panels were convened: "Minorities and Territoriality in post-Yugoslav Citizenship Constellations" and "The Transformative Power of Europeanization: Reconceptualizing the “Citizenship – Rule of Law” Nexus". In addition, a number of other past and future CITSEE fellows and team members were present giving papers in other panels.

CITSEE has launched a video trailer, detailing the project and its key findings thus far, and setting the scene for the team's new work on narratives of citizenship in south east Europe.

In May 2012, members of the team are attending the Subversive Festival in Zagreb, attending a series of forum events on "What is the future for Europe and its Citizens" and blogging about the main speakers and events. The blog on the Subversive Forum is one of several new content items added to the web magazine Citizenship in South East Europe, including an interview with Lawrence Weschler, author of the book Vermeer in Bosnia, a collection of narrative nonfiction that explored the connections between the 20th century’s wars in the Balkans and the equally violent Holland in which Vermeer created his paintings and a photo reportage presenting a new edited collection on visual culture after Yugoslavia.

Over the summer, CITSEE will be publishing several new working papers stemming from the ongoing research of the team, and in September will welcome new fellows to Edinburgh. More details to follow.

You can follow CITSEE's work via this website, the web magazine Citizenship in South East Europe, on twitter (@citseeteam) and on Facebook.

CITSEE is recruiting three research fellows

CITSEE is looking to recruit three research fellows for one year posts. Candidates, with an interest in citizenship in South Eastern Europe should have expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • the impact of EU and international law on national citizenship regimes;
  • Roma, Jews and other minorities lacking a kin state in South Eastern Europe;
  • gender and citizenship;
  • active citizenship;
  • social citizenship;
  • religion and citizenship;
  • the impact of recent migration on citizenship regimes in South East Europe.

Applications should be made via the vacancies website of the University of Edinburgh. See here for a direct link.

New publications in Bosnia volume from CITSEE staff

On 14 November, Igor Stiks attended the presentation and launch of a special issue of the journal Transitions entitled From Peace to Shared Political Identities: Exploring Pathways in Contemporary Bosnia.

The special issue resulted from two workshops on Bosnia in Geneva and Brussels attended by Jo Shaw, Igor Stiks and CITSEE Associate Researcher Eldar Sarajlic. While the special issue places the Bosnian case in its wider European and regional context, including an article on the enlargement process and an article on citizenship issues from Jo Shaw, the main focus is on the internal political construction of identities and practices, looking at the extent to which Bosnia is moving on from, or still constrained by, the Dayton agreement and its associated constitutional settlement. In that context, a paper by Igor Stiks on Being Citizen the Bosnian Way’: Transformations of Citizenship and Political Identities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and by Eldar Sarajlic on The Convenient Consociation: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethnopolitics and the EU are important contributions to thinking about relationships between citizens, citizenship and constitutionalism in Bosnia.

CITSEE researchers at the ASN convention; an award for Ljubica Spaskovska

The 16th Annual Association for the Study of the Nationalities (ASN) World Convention ‘Charting the Nation between State and Society’ took place at Columbia University in New York City between 14-16 April, gathering a large number of researchers working on the Balkans, Central Europe and the Baltics, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Turkey, Afghanistan, and China.

Among 140 panels, the CITSEE team hosted a panel entitled ‘Citizenship Dilemmas after the Third Yugoslavia: Rights, Participation, and Belonging in Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo’. The panel was chaired by CITSEE post-doctoral fellow Dr Igor Stiks and had Dr Sherill Stroschein of University College London (UCL) as the discussant. CITSEE research fellows Dr Jelena Dzankic and Jelena Vasiljevic, as well as CITSEE research assistant Gezim Krasniqi presented papers on recent developments in citizenship policies in Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo. This well-attended panel inspired a lively debate, revealing a considerable interest in citizenship-related issues in these countries.

In addition to that, CITSEE research associate Ljubica Spaskovska, who presented at another panel, won the ASN Best Doctoral Student Paper Award. Her paper ‘Landscapes of Triumph, Memory and Loss: Yugoslav Supra-nationalism and Anti-nationalism, 1986-1991’ was judged as the best contribution to the Balkans regional/thematic section.

New CITSEE Working Papers Available

The CITSEE team is pleased to announce the publication of three new papers in its Working Paper Series on citizenship regimes in the former Yugoslav states.

In the working 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 to 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.

Working paper “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. With explorations of 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.

Working paper “Citizenship and belonging in Serbia: in the crossfire of changing nationhood narratives” by Jelena Vasiljevic 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 topoi 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.

This brings the number of working papers produced so far by the CITSEE researchers and associated scholars to 17 and, at the same time, marks the completion of the 7 case studies on citizenship regimes in all states that emerged after Yugoslavia. Some of these papers are the first substantial English-language studies of the subject of citizenship in these states.

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.


CITSEE is preparing a special issue of “Citizenship Studies” journal for early 2012

On February 18th 2011, the CITSEE team, including researchers based at the University of Edinburgh (Prof Jo Shaw, Dr Igor Stiks, Dr Jelena Dzankic, Jelena Vasiljevic and Gezim Krasniqi) as well as associated researches based elsewhere (Ljubica Spaskovska from the University of Exeter, Tomaz Dezelan from the University of Ljubljana, Viktor Koska from the University of Zagreb, and, via skype link, Eldar Sarajlic from the Central European University), gathered in Edinburgh for a one full day of discussions.

The aim of the meeting was to lay the ground work for a special issue of “Citizenship studies” journal which will aim to give readers a better understanding of post-Yugoslav citizenship regimes, as seen in their wider political and societal context.

More generally, 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.

Presentations of CITSEE research in London

/CITSEE team members Jo Shaw, Igor Stiks, Jelena Dzankic, Jelena Vasiljevic and Gezim Krasniqi presented some early results of the CITSEE project to a variety of audiences in London in early February 2011. These presentations allowed us to build on existing links and collaborations with colleagues in London, and to inform wider academic audiences about the CITSEE research. As the country case study phase of CITSEE is now complete and is being prepared for wider dissemination through a special issue of Citizenship Studies due in early 2012, this was a useful moment at which to solicit feedback on the first phase of CITSEE's work.

The presentations were to LSE Global Governance (1 February), the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL (2 February) and the Centre for the Study of the Balkans at Goldsmiths College (3 February).


CITSEE is recruiting for 2011

CITSEE has advertised three one year Research Fellowships starting September/October 2011. Details of the advertisements can be found here, and prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to read the further guidance for applicants which can be accessed here before making an application. The advertisement and further particulars give details of the materials which applicants should submit with their application. Longlisted candidates will additionally be asked to prepare four page research proposals and provide writing samples in English.

This group of Research Fellows will be undertaking comparative projects on aspects of citizenship in South Eastern Europe, with a focus on the successor states of the former Yugoslavia but a potential for casting an eye wider across the rest of the Balkans and the other neighbouring states in order to develop effective comparative frameworks. The work of the Research Fellows will build upon the country case studies completed by the current CITSEE team and published (or to be published) on the CITSEE website.

Prospective applicants can address informal queries to Jo Shaw ( or Igor Stiks (

The firm deadline for applications is 31 January 2011 (5pm UK time) and applications should be made using the University's online system.