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PSRP Researcher Speaking: Serbian-Croatian post-conflict relations and minority language rights
July 1, 2016 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Laura Wise, PSRP member, will present the paper ‘“Vukovar will never be BYKOBAP”: Serbian-Croatian post-conflict relations and minority language rights’ at the Association for the Study of Nationalism Conference. The conference, on ‘Europe, Nations, and Insecurity: Challenges to’ at Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania, will take place from 30th June to 2nd July 2016.
This paper uses the ongoing conflict over minority rights policy in Vukovar in order to examine the relationship between national minority issues, and inter-state relations between a national minority’s kin- and host-states. Understanding national minority concerns within Brubaker’s ‘triadic nexus’, and the risk posed to inter-state relations by unilateral kin-state action, it examines a case in which minority capture of foreign policy is minimal, and kin-state diplomatic intervention is restrained. By analysing public statements made by Croatia and Serbia’s foreign ministries from 2013 to 2016, it aims to capture not only how both states understand their responsibilities within this nexus, but also how their rhetorical signals correspond to their actions towards each other, and towards Serbs in Croatia. Although implementation failures of national minority policy in Croatia are raised by bilateral relations, they are also frequently unseated from the foreign policy agenda by issues which reflect the kin-state’s ‘national interest’, whilst Croatia’s responsibilities as a host-state and European Union member are consistently reaffirmed. This suggests that Serbia’s foreign policy approach to co-ethnics abroad is rooted in principles of territorial sovereignty, respect for treaties, and good neighbourly relations, rather than a threat to regional stability.
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Photo credit: dnevnik.hr