Contemporary Citizenship: Politics of Exclusion and Inclusion

The main goal of the project was the contextualization of the concept of citizenship in CEE countries and Slovenia, exploration of its implementation, and its relation to the politics of inclusion and exclusion. The majority of the studies on citizenship in the region, undertaken either from the legal or political perspective, equate citizenship with the status and do not relate it to the issue of inclusion and exclusion, or the consequences that such approach has on the very status of citizenship. On the other hand, those studies that do include social exclusion and inequality issues, do not analyze social dimensions of the consequences of exclusion policies for the concept and practices of citizenship. Instead, they mostly deal with protective social policies.

The main result of the project was the critique of the above mentioned approach and the deconstruction of the neo-liberal notion of (national) citizenship as a status. Practices and mechanisms of exclusion (based on sexual orientation, ethnicity, social class or some other identity) were approached. Through the analyses of policy documents and public discourses the sources of the politics of exclusion were traced and situations in selected Central and East European and some other countries were compared. In addition to situating the concept of citizenship, identification and analyses of exclusion practices, the project identify conditions, courses and measures that could lead to the changes in existing political and social practices towards an increased inclusiveness. The project included two international workshops and several case studies, the applicability of post-national citizenship models in CEE region, and the analyses of the possibilities of social, local and intimate citizenship within EU citizenship. We particularly focused on the feminist analytical approach, rather deficient in this region, and identified segments in which feminist approach may contribute to the exclusion or inclusion of the gender dimension.

The project developed theoretical basis for further development of applied approach in the area of citizenship studies. By connecting the concept of citizenship with the topics of exclusion/inclusion, we connected critical political analysis of specific policies and ideologies with the analysis of the structural and invisible mechanisms of exclusion. We succesfully analyzed political debates, documents, strategies, legislation and actions taken by governmental institutions and other political actors and presented the results to the public and policy makers.

Project execution

Date of the first seminar: 22-24 November 2002
Date of the second seminar: November 2003

The aim of the project is to situate the contemporary concept/s of citizenship in the context of transition societies of Central and Eastern Europe and define their significance for political equality , participation and social cohesion. The project focuses on practices and mechanisms of exclusion (based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, social class or some other identity) through the analyses of policy documents and public discourses. The project will examine the sources of politics of exclusion and compare situations in selected Central and East European countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Yugoslavia.
The project is developed in 6 phases:
1. Preparatory phase: analysis of classical and contemporary citizenship practices (1-6 months, completed).
2. Analytical workshop with Slovenian participants: analysis of policies and mechanisms of exclusion and preparation for the international conference (7-12 months, completed).
3. International conference: analysis of active citizenship and inclusion in the light of EU integration. Publishing of the first (in-country) results, debates with governmental and non-governmental actors and the wider public (13-18 months).
4. A comparison between Slovenia and other selected countries. Public debates (19-24 months).
5. The second workshop: comparison of exclusion practices (November 2003), finalization of case studies, analysis of active citizenship and multi-ethnic and multi-cultural citizenship and mesia analysis (25-30 months).
6. Publishing of the results and public presentation (31-36 months).

Program (.doc)


The Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia