Post-Partition Citizenship Policies: Lessons from Post-Yugoslav Federal States

Citizenship policies are important tools of inclusion and exclusion in a post-partition context. In most cases, they reflect the unitary and mono-ethnic character of newly established states. Their function in countries and territories where an ethnonational break-up resulted in further ethnically diverse societies is far more complex. Citizenship in multilevel states created through state disintegration is a counterintuitive combination of (1) the legacies of the old citizenship tradition and replications of the old federal structure, and (2) processes of ethnic engineering and designing group-centric citizenship regimes. Legacies of the old structure are framed by the modalities of break-up and initial determination of citizenry (e.g., the absence of zero solution), but strongly mirror elements of the previous multilevel construction of citizenship, including bottom-up derivation, ethno-national determination of membership, voting rights and representation. Discontinuities in citizenship policies reflect wider tensions between nation- and state-building (and destruction), and how these processes have been molded through different international influences. We undertake a case-study of two post-Yugoslav multilevel states, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia/the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, with the intent of drawing broader conclusions on how citizenship policies can keep states together or break them apart.

Jelena Dzankic and Soeren Keil, Post-Partition Citizenship Policies: Lessons from Post-Yugoslav Federal States, Publius, 2020.