Framing the Citizenship Regime within the Complex Triadic Nexuses: The Case Study of Croatia

Viktor Koska

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The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the changes of the Croatian citizenship regime from its independence till today. This paper will argue that over the last two decades, Croatia established a distinctive citizenship regime marked by stable citizenship legislation and changing boundaries of recognized rights for different categorizes of Croatian citizens. The stability of the status dimension of citizenship can be traced to the unchallenged primacy of the nationhood conceived as a transnational community of ethnic Croats. Still, within a largely culturally bounded citizenry established on such an understanding of nationhood, changes were possible due to external circumstances and incentives internal to Croatian politics. An analysis of citizenship policies vis-á-vis Croatian diaspora and national minorities in Croatia (namely the Serb minority) reveals that the changes in the rights dimension of Croatian citizenship should be conceived as (1) the results of the political struggles within the Croatian political system, (2) a shift in the positions of the entities involved in the complex relational nexus in the post-Yugoslav region through which citizenship regime is constituted and defined and finally (3) as means of reaching particular political goals (such as accession to EU or establishment of the special connection with Croatian ethnic communities abroad).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-411
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • citizenship regime
  • Croatia
  • diaspora
  • national minorities
  • triadic nexus


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