Citizenship and Violence: From States to Streets
Why violence, visible and non-visible, physical and structural, cannot be separated from citizenship, ancient and modern? Why being political cannot avoid violence, even when we present ourselves or want to be non-violent? What defines citizenship then? The idea of membership, common identity and participation only? Or exclusion, conflicts, wars, violence and our perception and construction of enemies might have a strong influence on how we perceive ourselves as citizens as well? What happens when we cannot agree about the nature and institutions of our political community? What happens when we descend on the streets and confront ‘legal’ owners of violence?
The study of citizenship, as theory, institution and practice, is necessary to understand how political communities are made, un-made and re-made. Modern citizenship seems to be a tool that can be used for different and opposing goals, from integration and re-unification to fragmentation and ethnic engineering. This implies that it is also a tool of exclusion in defining borders of political communities. This rarely happens without Violence.
The course will be dedicated to general theories of citizenship, contemporary debates on citizenship, as well as to various practices of citizenship in Southeast Europe. We will discuss citizenship in the post-1989 Europe, in the West and in the former socialist East with a special focus on the post-socialist Balkans. After examining legal and political uses and misuses of citizenship related to status and rights of individuals, we will further distinguish between active and activist citizenship as well as present new social movements in this region.
Our focus on the Balkans offers us a an inspiring angle to narrate an alternative political history of this region, but also an insight into the fine mechanics and repeating glitches of modern politics, applicable to multinational states in the European Union and beyond.
Dr. Igor Štiks earned his PhD at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris and Northwestern University and later worked and taught at the University of Edinburgh and the Faculty of Media and Communications in Belgrade. He is the author of Nations and Citizens in Yugoslavia and the Post-Yugoslav States: One Hundred Years of Citizenship (Bloomsbury, 2015). Together with Jo Shaw he edited the collections Citizenship after Yugoslavia (Routledge, 2013) and Citizenship Rights (Ashgate, 2013), and, with Srećko Horvat, Welcome to the Desert of Post-Socialism: Radical Politics after Yugoslavia (Verso, 2015). He is also the author of two novels, A Castle in Romagna and The Judgment of Richard Richter (originally published as Elijah’s Chair), which have won numerous awards and have been translated into 15 languages. He was honored with the prestigious French distinction Chevalier des arts et des lettres for his literary and intellectual achievements.