Extraterritorial Citizenship in Postcommunist Europe

Extraterritorial Citizenship in Postcommunist Europe


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, October 24


What role does the protection of citizens abroad play in motivating states’ policies? How does citizenship of non-residents map onto domestic nation-building projects? And in what ways do extraterritorial citizenship issues differ from those related to diaspora and migration?

This volume develops a new analytical framework for emerging research on how states establish relationships with non-resident citizens and resident non-citizens. It provides new insights on the changing relationship between states and the societies they govern, particularly in light of the liberalization of the state institutions on the one hand and their approach to citizenship as a political resource on the other. Examining a range of European states in the post-communist region, the book illustrates the complex geopolitical interests and interstate relations involved with these policy decisions, whilst highlighting the relevance of similar issues around the globe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781783483631
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/16/2015
Pages: 230
Product dimensions: 6.07(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Timofey Agarin is a Lecturer in Comparative Politics and Ethnic Conflict at Queen’s University Belfast, where he is also the director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict.

Ireneusz Paweł Karolewski is Professor of Political Science and Chair of Politics at the Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies, University of Wroclaw. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Politics at the University of Potsdam.

Read an Excerpt

Extraterritorial Citizenship in Postcommunist Europe

By Timofey Agarin, Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski

Rowman & Littlefield International, Ltd.

Copyright © 2015 Timofey Agarin, Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski and contributors
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-78348-364-8


Extraterritorial Citizenship in Postcommunist Europe

Setting the Parameters for a Comparative Research Agenda

Timofey Agarin and Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski

When Mary Robinson took office as president of the Republic of Ireland in 1990, she declared her intention to represent the 70 million people of Irish descent worldwide, alongside her immediate 3.5 million fellow citizens of the Republic. That very same year, József Antall announced that in the spirit of the constitution, he intended to be the prime minister of not just the 10 million Hungarian citizens living in the country, but also of a further 5 million residing beyond its borders. While Robinson's comments did not cause much stir, considerable international outcry followed the announcement of Hungary's first prime minister. It was a potent reminder that not all states can lay claim to their co-ethnics, or even co-citizens residing in other countries, without having serious political consequences.

Resident aliens are no recent phenomena: Since the nineteenth century, states have used conflicts over interests in minority groups as proxies for claims to new territories, populations, and assertions of geo-political influence. However, postcommunist Europe is a unique region in this regard, as many states were established relatively recently (some only at end of the twentieth century), further dividing ethno-linguistic communities into citizenries. Yet, like national polities the world over, those Central and Eastern European states with experience of communism attempt to forge national populations through enforcing citizenship legislation and by hoisting the cultures and languages of the majority upon multilingual and multicultural residents. This cannot even be reversed by the European Union, despite its commitment to minority rights protection.

Remarkably, the vast majority of polities previously dominated by communist ideology — stretching from Germany in the West to the Pacific Rim in the East — have been implicitly designated as the 'homelands' of their majority, or in communist parlance, 'titular' ethnic groups. State bureaucracies, their militaries, and the official languages of these titular nationalities were put in place under communism to institutionalize and indeed facilitate development, which was to be 'socialist in content, but national in form'. Ethnicities that in the past had suffered injustices at hands of 'oppressor nations' and 'bourgeois nationalists' alike were offered a constitutionally guaranteed — though rarely enforced — right for national self-determination within the borders of their ethno-territorial units. Polities were erected across this region which offered a fig leaf of legitimacy and ensured citizens' abilities to participate in and contribute to political processes in their own, majority, and official languages.

The demise of communism in the late 1980s and early 1990s saw the homelands of the local, titular majorities (re-)established as nation-states, often at the expense of participatory rights for ethnic, linguistic, religious, and other national minorities. In several instances, clashes between the majorities' preferences for political institutions and minorities' perceptions of equality caused tensions on the ground. In the case of the former Yugoslavia, this led to civil war. In other cases, these tensions even spilled over into violent interstate conflicts, as in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The region, which had been comparably peaceful under communism, has since posed a conundrum about the reasons for the sudden and violent outbreak of ethno-political conflict. Other less dramatic cases like the tensions over the rights of the Polish minority in Lithuania occurred in the midst of the European integration process of both Poland and Lithuania. Numerous studies on postcommunist interethnic tensions suggest that ethno-political entrepreneurs in the region sought to ensure that the borders of their mostly ethnically defined nation maps onto their citizenries, sealing off other ethnic groups from one another by newly erected state borders.

Yet today, not much more differently than twenty-five years ago, state borders across the region rarely correspond to boundaries of linguistic, ethno-national, and religious communities, and the relationship between states, majorities, and resident minorities remains a complex one. Calls for border revisions are still heard from more radical ethno-political entrepreneurs, and there remains a plethora of cases where closer cooperation between states has had an amplifying effect on nationalist rhetoric within EU member-states and countries acceding to or seeking membership of the European Union. The growing participation of postcommunist states in the EU integration process makes the focus on these states' relations with their own citizens as well as those of other states ever more important. Particularly, the social and spatial mobility of postcommunist citizens requires us to refocus away from intergroup relations in the postcommunist area to relations of individuals with their states of citizenship.

The end of the bipolar world order has triggered both the re-definition of states' relationships with their citizens at home and facilitated the maintenance of links with diasporas abroad. Remarkably, however, there has been only scant interest in the impact of non-resident citizens on security perceptions in the newly established states of Central Eastern Europe. The impact of resident non-citizens across postcommunist Europe has been discussed largely either in the context of identity construction in the newly independent nations or residents' relations with their diasporic homelands. To fill this gap in the scholarship, the contributions in our volume investigate issues resulting from the presence of such groups on the territory of sovereign postcommunist states.

Our particular concerns are the regional implications of postcommunist nation-states 'throwing passports across the border' and other policies that have a similar intent — to award citizenship to residents, permanent or otherwise, of other nation-states — even if though not always the same effect. Our contributors not only discuss individual cases where 'extraterritorial citizenship' has been applied but also use several case studies to illustrate the larger dynamics, which we identify as being part of a broader global process: the changing relationship between states and the societies they govern. This is particularly salient in light of the overall liberalization of state institutions, as well as broadly defined processes of individualization within societies and the overarching dynamics of globalization. The set of issues introduced above allows us to outline the implications these rationales of state policies have for citizens' relations with their states of residence as well as with those of their citizenship.

In this context, the contributions to this volume unpack categories of practice and reconstruct them as categories for analyses, laying bare the implicit linkages between ethnic and civic understandings of citizenship in the postcommunist region. In doing so, we create a narrative about how, by what means, and, crucially, for what purposes do postcommunist governments extend the right of citizenship to non-residents. Individual allegiance to the state and nation are largely one and the same across the region, if for no other reason than the fact that state-nations are construed as ethnically, culturally, and linguistically homogeneous and polities are explicitly tasked with serving the interest of that state's ethnic majority. How do non-resident citizens shape the policies of their kin-states? What impact do they have on the political dynamics in their countries of residence and on these states' relations with the societies which they govern? Our contributors pool expertise on the postcommunist region to assess citizens' relations with the state, their view of their own position vis-à-vis state institutions, and discuss the possible reasons why states extend access to citizenship — or rights similar to citizenship — to those individuals not habitually resident in the country. Though our volume focuses on postcommunist case studies, the issues raised here can be readily found elsewhere in Europe and indeed around the globe.


Our point of departure is a contradiction often identified in analyses of citizenship legislation in postcommunist states. On the one hand, citizenship laws passed since 1989 have tended to reflect the liberalization of state-society relations. Yet on the other hand, state- and nation-building processes have constrained opportunities for minority groups to influence policymaking. Both these processes challenge the state's perception of what makes a 'citizen', induce states to seek ways of coalescing individuals regardless of their citizenship status into accepting majoritarian decision-making, and further support government-sponsored policies that conflate state-building with the consolidation of an ethno-linguistically defined nation. Thus, the focus of our volume on extraterritorial citizenship reflects a dominant legacy shared among postcommunist societies, an issue of central concern in both editors' previous work. Does institutional stewardship of postcommunist states over their citizenries come at the expense of liberty for the very individuals these states declare as their core constituents?


For decades, political studies have referred to citizenship as a shorthand connection between a person and a state. As a result, the research on citizenship exhibits a high degree of conceptual variety, which stems from normative and functionalist readings of the concept. First and foremost, all agree that the realization of individual liberty and equality is universally regarded as a prerequisite for citizenship in a democratic regime. However, other scholars are more interested in an ideal typical concept, establishing an idea of citizenship via historical accounts, for example, drawing upon the cases of Ancient Greece or the Roman Empire. Normative views anchor citizenship in a system of liberty and equality made available by the modern state and criticize the exclusion of elements of the social structure from the criteria of citizenship.

In contrast, Max Weber explained that the development of specific forms of citizenship is functionally attuned to the requirements of individual societies. Weber was particularly fascinated by the mass-based forms of citizenship in medieval cities of the Western world, where cities were organized as defence units. In a similar vein, T. H. Marshall argues that the modern notion of citizenship resulted from the gradual expansion of civil, political, and social rights to large parts of society, eventually becoming an essential piece of property within capitalist economies. These classic approaches to untangling the political economy of citizenship have all put a premium on the institutions of the state — or those entrusted by the state — in managing societal processes.

A more nuanced picture emerges as we systematize the literature on applied concepts of citizenship, such as civic, cosmopolitan, transnational, technological citizenship, and many others. All these concepts attach meanings and espouse diverging normative implications for political science and theorists because they all reference the convergence of individual citizens' interests and a shared institutional background from which cooperation emerges. For instance, discussions of 'green citizenship' seek to depart from the dualism of society and nature, erecting a common institutional background for both, namely that of mutual equity. Similarly, 'digital citizenship' focuses individuals' ability to avail of technological tools to serve better the interests of online communities.

A more recent development in citizenship studies focuses on notions of citizenship that are even further away from political and social institutions, devolved from groups and interests and pertain solely to individual identities. Studies on sexual citizenship emphasize the identity claims of persons — in this case, sexuality-related. The focus on migrant identities has been discussed in studies on migrant citizenship, demonstrating the connection between the projected identities, exploitation, and exclusion of migrants. Here the focus is on one of many identities of the targeted groups, as in the UK media on migrant workers' threats to the British labour market, which has been used to discuss potential identity-based practices and coping strategies. In a similar context, Noa Leuchter discussed the option of combing citizenships of political institutions (membership in several citizenries) as a powerful resource to negotiate personal interests and actively engage in the negotiation of identities on one's own terms. All these recent developments in citizenship studies have increasingly moved away from institutional determinants that shape concepts of citizenship in practice. The focus of our volume on extraterritorial citizenship seeks to amend the comparative analyses by focusing on the sets of interests implied but rarely discussed explicitly in the scholarship on citizenship.

Throughout the volume, we use the concept 'extraterritorial citizenship' to refer to the rights and duties connecting the citizens of host states to their kin-states. In practice, 'extraterritorial citizenship' includes the formal citizenship of the kin-state institution (such as double citizenship of state of residence and of the kin-state), the political ties that formalize an individual's interest in 'special relations' with the kin-state (such as the Polish Charter, Karta Polaka), and similar policies adopted by states to link them with their non-residents living in a different country. This might, for example, involve granting these non-residents privileged access to opportunities and services available on the territory of another state by means of an invoked, real, or perceived shared identity. The latter can be part of formal legislation but also subject to 'symbolic politics' where institutional consequences are of lesser importance than the 'face value' of policies. In all the cases, belonging to an ethnic community is used to support claims that otherwise only citizens of the state can formally stake out vis-à-vis institutions of a democratic state. The regulations that fall under this category in the cases of the postcommunist states we examine infer historical connections between individuals identified as co-ethnics and the newly established nation-states, where this ethnic community is a majority.

We map this matrix of rights and obligations to study the relationship between individual citizens and political authority, in the case of extraterritorial citizenship of both their country of residency and of their kin-state. This is important for three distinct reasons. First, we relate practices that are linked to status/formal membership of a political community (horizontal relationship) and political authority (vertical relationship) by stressing the inherently conflictive nature of such membership. Second, we allow for a comparison of extraterritorial citizenship in liberal/democratic and illiberal/authoritarian societies across postcommunist Europe. This allows us to take seriously the contention widely shared in the recent scholarship that processes of individualization have had a remarkably small impact upon the groupist outlook of postcommunist societies. Finally, we analyse the changing relationship between states and the societies they govern, particularly in the light of the contradictory dynamics of liberalization versus the authoritarian tightening of state institutions, and the overarching dynamics of European integration.

What citizenship is, what it does, and how it impacts on individuals' relations with both states differs considerably across our case studies. Throughout, however, extraterritorial citizenship is a shorthand term for ethnic politicking in a nation-state that makes use of readily available ethnic kin residing outside the territory of that nation-state. Thus, we posit a minimal definition of extraterritorial citizenship as membership in several political communities.


Excerpted from Extraterritorial Citizenship in Postcommunist Europe by Timofey Agarin, Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski. Copyright © 2015 Timofey Agarin, Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski and contributors. Excerpted by permission of Rowman & Littlefield International, Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements / 1. Introduction: Extraterritorial Citizenship in Postcommunist Europe: Setting the Parameters for a Comparative Research Agenda, Timofey Agarin and Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski /2. Kin-state Responsibility, Reparations, and Extraterritorial Citizenship: A Comparative Analysis of Romania’s and Hungary’s Legislation on Kin-minorities, Andreea Udrea / 3. Regulating Access to Citizenship after Territorial Changes: Extraterritorial Citizenship and the Russian Federation, Karin Traunmüller and Timofey Agarin / 4. The Polish Charter: Extraterritorial Semi-Citizenship and Soft Power, Ireneusz Paweł Karolewski / 5. ‘Less is More, or More is Less’?: Securitized Citizenship in the Baltic States, Jennifer Skulte-Ouaiss / 6. Nation-State Building with the Bear in Mind: The Impact of the Russian Federation in Post-Soviet ‘Breakaway’ Regions, Timofey Agarin / 7. Armenia and Extraterritorial Citizenship: A Means to Self-Determination and Nation-Building?, Narine Ghazaryan / 8. Ethnic Identity, Domestic Politics and EU Incentives: Exploring Extraterritorial Citizenship Policies in Postcommunist Bulgaria and Macedonia, Cvete Koneska / 9. Resistance to extraterritorial citizenship in the unconsolidated states in South Eastern Europe, Jelena Džankić / 10. Conclusion: Is it the time to cut the umbilical cord?, Timofey Agarin

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews