Jelena Vasiljević (PhD in socio-cultural anthropology) is a Research Associate at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade. Her research interests include politics of solidarity, activist citizenship and protest movements in the Balkans, transformations of citizenship in the post-Yugoslav states, memory politics, narratives and affects, and culture and rights debates. Her latest research is concerned with the study of political dimensions of solidarity, and more specifically, with examining the tensions between the notions of citizenship and solidarity. She was a Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and at the Centre for South East European Studies, University of Graz. She published a monograph The Anthropology of Citizenship (in Serbian, 2016), and her articles appeared in Nations and Nationalism and Citizenship Studies, among other journals.
Period of affiliation:
2021 - 2021
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade
This paper is an attempt to explain some of the peculiarities of the present-day socio-political situation in Serbia by tracing the dynamic and interplay of its main identity narratives during the last 30 years. It represents a contribution to understanding post-socialist Serbia, through the way its identity narratives were setting the framework for key political choices and orientations. On the one hand, it will draw on the idea that (state) narratives “fix the meanings of the past and limit the opportunity for further political contestation” (Subotić 2013). This will help to analyse the persistence and re-appearances of certain narratives seemingly exhibiting the force of inertia in public discourses, and thus limiting the possibilities for major changes both in public imaginaries about the national self and in the political course of the country. On the other hand, relying on the notion that ethno-national discourse is “a moving, relational and multidimensional object” (Pavasović Trošt 2018), the analysis will provide an understanding of how, when, and with which actors (internal and external) identity narratives become more plastic and susceptible to change, indicating in the discursive space, possibilities for a change in political orientation and action.