Imagining and Managing the Nation: Tracing Citizenship Policies in Serbia 

Jelena Vasiljević

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the most salient features of the reshaping of the state–territory–nation triangle in Serbia over the last 20 years, through the lenses of citizenship regime. It looks at the ways in which the dominant political narrative in Serbia has imagined political community and accordingly managed its members. During the period of violent Yugoslav break-up and Milošević's rule, the Serbian citizenship regime was surprisingly ‘civic’, while post-2000 liberalisation has introduced ethnic elements which are likely to be further strengthened. This apparent contradiction can be explained by the specific goals of Serbian political elites to maintain control over population and territory in changing political circumstances. I will argue that the legacy of different attempts at defining the relation between the Serbian state and the Serb people, coupled with the wider context of Yugoslav conflicts and post-conflict developments in the region, led to an unconsolidated citizenship regime in Serbia with varying and contested conceptions about how to achieve congruence of state, territory and nation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-336
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • citizenship
  • citizenship regimes
  • Serbia


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