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Citizenship and Otherness: Theorizing Constitutional Identities of the Balkan States (2015-2016)

Field of study: Political Theory

The paper examines the interplay between notions of citizenship and otherness in the context of Balkan states and how it reflects on their constitutional identity. The paper starts with the normative examination of citizenship, its elements and salience in the contemporary context. Then, it goes through a historical sketch of othering in the Balkans – and how the notion of citizenship has been changed in the course of time. There is a clear connection between othering and constitutional identity to be identified in the Balkans. The constitutional concepts of our national and political selves, individual rights and national sovereignty, liberal and national values are often in deep collision. Various empirical constitutional histories in the Balkans can be defined through four ideal type models of constitutional identities (national, multinational, republican and constitutional patriotism). The last model is a normative perspective for the constitutionalisation of Balkan states that evades sorts of othering present in other forms of constitutional identities.

Keywords: citizenship, otherness, constitutional identity, constitutional patriotism, minorities, Balkans

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