Citizenship in the 21st Century: Fragile Rights, Unequal Societies, Divided Cities, and Global Movements
How to define citizenship in our confusing and uncertain times? Is it based on the idea of membership, equality and participation only? Or exclusion, conflicts, wars, and our perception and construction of enemies might have a strong influence on how we perceive ourselves as citizens as well? What is our political community or do we necessarily have multiple identities? To whom do we owe loyalty, global humanity, nation-states, regional alliances, our ethnic and religious group? What happens when we cannot agree about the nature and institutions of our communities? Or when we descend on the streets and squares? For what do we fight? Global justice, climate, gender equality, national interests, or our cities and lifestyles?
Citizenship is a tool that can be used for different and opposing goals, from integration and re-unification to fragmentation, division and ethnic engineering. It could be classically understood as national citizenship, but also as European, ecological, sexual and urban. The study of modern citizenship, as theory, institution and practice, is necessary to understand how political communities are made, un-made and re-made in the 21st century.
The course will be dedicated to general theories of citizenship, contemporary debates on membership and identity, as well as to various practices of citizenship and collective action 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 and compare rising political and social movements across the globe and in this region.
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.