Citizenship and voting rights in post-Yugoslav countries
As a link between people and the state, citizenship rules and regulations establish the parameters for inclusion and exclusion in terms of who can participate in politics. This is of particular importance for post-Yugoslav countries since their political and social realities are influenced by the parallel processes of nation-building and Europeanisation. Questions arise regarding whether some ethnic groups are excluded from citizenship and if this is subject to change if different parties come to power. Also in question is whether differences in citizenship status affect voting rights and how party competition dynamics is reflected in voting rights legislation. These are the questions the EU-funded project COMPCITXU (In the frame of party competition: citizenship, voting rights and nation-building in the post-Yugoslav space) sought to answer. Objectives in this process included training through research, improving the understanding of party completion, franchise and citizenship, publishing research results through various dissemination activities and forming long-last collaborations. A Career Development Plan was created which outlined the project’s milestones and potential impact. Work also involved the collection and analysis of secondary data, including academic publications, citizenship legislation and electoral results in the seven post-Yugoslav states. Additionally fieldwork activities took place in order to collect primary materials and interview major stakeholders and policy analysts. Results of the work comprised a conceptual framework for pinpointing the developments in the politics of citizenship and franchise between contested and consolidated post-partition states. Dissemination included publications, presentations to academic audiences via conferences and workshops, and outreach to the general public through websites. The impact of COMPCITXU is its contribution to European competitiveness in the study of citizenship and electoral rights. It is useful for stakeholders and policymakers in the Western Balkan states regarding legislative reform and EU accession.
Citizenship, voting rights, post-Yugoslav countries, Europeanisation, legislative reform, EU accession