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Lesbian Activism in the (Post-)Yugoslav Space: Sisterhood and Unity

Citation:

Bilić, Bojan, and Marija Radoman, eds. 2019. Lesbian Activism in the (Post-)Yugoslav Space: Sisterhood and Unity. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: Bojan Bilić, Marija Radoman

Annotation:

Summary:
This book intertwines academic and activist voices to engage with more than three decades of lesbian activism in the Yugoslav space. The empirically rich contributions uncover a range of lesbian initiatives and the fundamental, but rarely acknowledged, role that lesbian alliances have played in articulating a feminist response to the upsurge of nationalism, widespread violence against women, and high levels of lesbophobia and homophobia in all of the post-Yugoslav states. By offering a distinctly intergenerational and transnational perspective, this collection does not only shed new light on a severely marginalised group of people, but constitutes a pioneering effort in accounting for the intricacies – solidarities, joys, and tensions – of lesbian activist organising in a post-conflict and post-socialist environment. With a plethora of authorial standpoints and innovative methodological approaches, the volume challenges the systematic absence of (post-)Yugoslav lesbian activist enterprises from recent social science scholarship. (Summary from Palgrave Macmillian)

Table of Contents:
1.Introduction: Recovering/Rethinking (Post-)Yugoslav Lesbian Activisms
Bojan Bilić

2.Yearning for Space, Pleasure, and Knowledge: Autonomous Lesbian and Queer Feminist Organising in Ljubljana
Teja Oblak and Maja Pan

3.Cartographies of Fear and Freedom: Lesbian Activists in the First Belgrade and Zagreb Pride Parades
Sanja Kajinić

4.Sisterhood Beyond Borders: Transnational Aspects of Post-Yugoslav Lesbian Activism
Irene Dioli

5.Breaking the Silence: Lesbian Activism in Macedonia
Irena Cvetkovic

6.Searching for a Lesbian Voice: Non-Heterosexual Women’s Activism in Montenegro
Marina Vuković and Paula Petričević

7.(In)Visible Presences: PitchWise Festival as a Space of Lesbian Belonging in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Adelita Selmić and Bojan Bilić

8.Conclusion: Discovering the Lesbian in Us—On Our Ongoing, Never-Ending Struggles
Marija Radoman

9.Epilogue: Collecting Fragments—Towards (Post-)Yugoslav Activist Archives
Bojan Bilić

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Governance, LGBTQ, Nationalism, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights Regions: Europe, Balkans, Central Europe, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2019

Old Ties and New Binds: LGBT Rights, Homonationalisms, Europeanization and Post-War Legacies in Serbia

Citation:

Gabbard, Sonnet D’Amour. 2017. “Old Ties and New Binds: LGBT Rights, Homonationalisms, Europeanization and Post-War Legacies in Serbia.” PhD diss., The Ohio State University.

Author: Sonnet D’Amour Gabbard

Abstract:

My dissertation examines the historic links between the anti-war activists in Serbia with the current efforts and work for LGBT justice and rights. As an interdisciplinary scholar, my work integrates a variety of epistemologies across disciplines by putting anti-war and LGBT activists' experience in Serbia into conversation with one another to address unique vulnerabilities. Drawing from transnational feminist and queer critiques of governance, (homo)nationalism, and transnational sexuality studies, I consider how new nonheterosexual identity politics—with roots in anti-war activism—have surfaced in Serbia since the Kosovo War. I argue that it is at the intersection of anti-war and LGBT organizing that new and conflicting identity politics have emerged, in part as a reaction to a pro-war hyper-nationalism and neoliberal globalization.

Keywords: LGBT, Balkans, sexuality studies, feminism, transnational, global studies, international relations, development, Serbia, Yugoslavia, post-conflict, Transgender, lesbian, gay, pride parade, gentrification, Slavic studies, queer

Topics: Civil Society, Feminisms, Governance, Globalization, Justice, LGBTQ, Nationalism, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Sexuality Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Serbia

Year: 2017

Security Sector Reform, Small Arms and Light Weapons and Gender in the Post-Conflict Western Balkans

Citation:

Szedlacsek, Eszter. 2019. “Security Sector Reform, Small Arms and Light Weapons and Gender in the Post-Conflict Western Balkans.” Corvinus Journal of International Affairs 4 (1): 26-38.

Author: Eszter Szedlacsek

Abstract:

We all experience war in a different way – building peace in post-conflict environments requires solutions that bring together various aspects of these experiences at the local, national and international levels. However, the actors involved and the social groups they address are only rarely those at the margin, and the diversity of the catch-all category of “locals” frequently goes unacknowledged when considering Security Sector Reform (SSR) and especially small arms control. Numerous studies have focused on SSR and gender in the Balkans, on perceptions of security in post-conflict environments and its gender-related aspects, as well as on the gendered aspects of small arms, but so far the analysis bringing together all of these aspects is scarce. This paper aims to address this gap, providing an overview of these areas to show that attempts at state-building and security-provision in the Western Balkans have failed to appropriately incorporate gender mainstreaming into their agendas. It is the central claim of this paper that policymakers must realize that gender mainstreaming without a broader understanding of gendered aspects of security does not and will not have transformative power – neither in the Western Balkans, nor in other post-conflict environments.

Keywords: security sector reform (SSR), post-conflict, small arms and light weapons (SALW), gender, Western Balkans

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security Sector Reform, Weapons /Arms Regions: Europe, Baltic states, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2019

Nationalism and Europeanization in LGBT Rights and Politics: A Comparative Study of Croatia and Serbia

Citation:

Swimelar, Safia. 2018. "Nationalism and Europeanization in LGBT Rights and Politics: A Comparative Study of Croatia and Serbia." East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures 33 (3): 603-30. 

Author: Safia Swimelar

Abstract:

LGBT rights have come to be seen as allied with the idea of “Europe” and a European identity, particularly in the process of European Union enlargement to the East. Scholars have examined the ways in which external norms interact with more local, often “traditional” norms and identities. In this process, nationalism and conceptions of national identity and gender/sexuality norms can be seen as important factors that influence the domestic adoption of LGBT rights, particularly in the post-war Balkans. Croatia and Serbia (from approximately 2000 to 2014) present two interesting and different cases to analyze how discourses and dynamics of national and state identity construction, nationalism, and LGBT rights relate to discourses of “Europeanness” and European identity and how these affect the political dynamics of LGBT rights. This article finds that in Croatia, national identity was constructed in terms of convergence with European norms and identity, homonationalism was used to distinguish themselves from a “Balkan” identity, and there was a lower threat perception of the LGBT community framed primarily as a “threat to the family.” In Serbia, state and national identity was constructed in opposition to Europe and homosexuality had stronger threat perception, framed primarily as “threat to the nation.” In short, nationalism and national identity were less disadvantageous as a domestic constraint to LGBT rights in Croatia than in Serbia. The dynamics between nationalism and LGBT rights played out, for example, in the politics of the marriage referendum, Pride Parades, and public discourse more generally. This research contributes to the scholarship on LGBT rights and nationalism by empirically analyzing the different ways that nationalism, gender/sexuality, and European identity interrelate and influence LGBT rights change in a changing post-war identity landscape and how domestic constraints affect human rights norm diffusion.

Keywords: LGBT rights, nationalism, Balkans, Europeanization, human rights

Topics: Gender, LGBTQ, Nationalism, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Sexuality Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Croatia, Serbia

Year: 2018

Taxing for Inequalities: Gender Budgeting in the Western Balkans

Citation:

Bojičić-Dželilović, Vesna, and Aida A. Hozić. 2020. “Taxing for Inequalities: Gender Budgeting in the Western Balkans.” Review of International Political Economy, April, 1–25. doi: 10.1080/09692290.2019.1702572.

Authors: Vesna Bojičić-Dželilović, Aida A. Hozić

Abstract:

This article seeks to illuminate structural limits of Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) by analysing the interplay between economic and fiscal reforms, promoted by International Financial Institutions (IFIs), and gender budgeting initiatives in the Western Balkans. GRB is the core concept bridging revenue mobilization and gender equality in the work of IFIs. However, as the Western Balkans experience demonstrates, GRB initiatives are best characterized as “empty gestures” towards gender equality as they cannot compensate for the continued adverse effects of IFIs overall policies.

Keywords: VAT, Western Balkans, revenue mobilization, consumption-led growth, financialization, households, gender responsive budget

Topics: Development, Economies, Public Finance, Gender, Gender Budgeting, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, International Financial Institutions, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia

Year: 2020

Intersectionality and LGBT Activist Politics: Multiple Others in Croatia and Serbia

Citation:

Bilić, Bojan, and Sanja Kajinić, eds. 2016. Intersectionality and LGBT Activist Politics: Multiple Others in Croatia and Serbia. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Authors: Bojan Bilić, Sanja Kajinić

Abstract:

This volume combines empirically oriented and theoretically grounded reflections upon various forms of LGBT activist engagement to examine how the notion of intersectionality enters the political context of contemporary Serbia and Croatia. By uncovering experiences of multiple oppression and voicing fear and frustration that accompany exclusionary practices, the contributions to this book seek to reinvigorate the critical potential of intersectionality, in order to generate the basis for wider political alliances and solidarities in the post-Yugoslav space. The authors, both activists and academics, challenge the systematic absence of discussions of (post-)Yugoslav LGBT activist initiatives in recent social science scholarship, and show how emancipatory politics of resistance can reshape what is possible to imagine as identity and community in post-war and post-socialist societies. This book will be of interest to scholars and students in the areas of history and politics of Yugoslavia and the post-Yugoslav states, as well as to those working in the fields of political sociology, European studies, social movements, gay and lesbian studies, gender studies, and queer theory and activism. (Palgrave Macmillan)

Annotation:

Table of Contents:

LGBT Activist Politics and Intersectionality in Croatia and Serbia: An Introduction
Bojan Bilić and Sanja Kajinić

Part I Widening the Community

1. The (In)Visible T: Trans Activism in Croatia (2004-2014)
Amir Hodžić, J. Poštić, and Arian Kajtezović

2. Against Bisexual Erasure: The Beginnings of Bi Activism in Serbia
Radica Hura

3. Uncovering an A: Asexuality and Asexual Activism in Croatia and Serbia
Milica Batričević and Andrej Cvetić

4. Queer Beograd Collective: Beyond Single-Issue Activism in Serbia and the Post-Yugoslav Space
Bojan Bilić and Irene Dioli

Part II At the Crossroads of Oppression

5. Nowhere at Home: Homelessness, Non-Heterosexuality, and LGBT Activism in Croatia
Antonela Marušić and Bojan Bilić

6. Normalization, Discipline, and Conflict: Intersections of LGBT Rights and Workers' Rights in Serbia
Irene Dioli

7. Towards a More Inclusive Pride? Representing Multiple Discriminations in the Belgrade Pride Parade
Marija Radoman

8. White Angels Zagreb: Combating Homophobia as "Rural Primitivism"
Andrew Hodges

9. Queer Struggles and the Left in Serbia and Croatia: An Afterword
Dušan Maljković

Index

Topics: Gender, LGBTQ, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Croatia, Serbia

Year: 2016

Toward Gender and LGBT Equality in the Serbian Armed Forces

Citation:

Rokvić, Vanja, and Svetlana Stanarević. 2016. “Toward Gender and LGBT Equality in the Serbian Armed Forces.” Women’s Studies International Forum 55 (March): 26–34.

Authors: Vanja Rokvić , Svetlana Stanarević

Annotation:

This article focuses on gender equality in the Serbian Armed Forces (SAF), discussing both gender equality and sexual orientation equality (LGBT equality). Based on the examination of researches and other data, this article concludes that despite the positive shifts granting women the right to military education and professional military service, women continue to be a minority in the SAF. The article further concludes that while there is no official discriminatory policy as regards the admission of members of the LGBT population to the armed forces in Serbia, the few researches into this issue have revealed deeply ingrained views according to which the presence of homosexuals in the armed forces compromises cohesion and leads to unit conflict and division. Finally, the article concludes that a social context ruled by stereotypes and negative attitudes is not conducive to creating conditions for equal opportunity for all, regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, and that it will take a time before complete equality and diversity are attained in the SAF -Elsevier

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, LGBTQ, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexuality Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Serbia

Year: 2016

Configurations of Post-Conflict: Impacts of Representations of Conflict and Post-Conflict upon the (Political) Translations of Gender Security within UNSCR 1325

Citation:

McLeod, Laura. 2011. “Configurations of Post-Conflict: Impacts of Representations of Conflict and Post-Conflict upon the (Political) Translations of Gender Security within UNSCR 1325.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 13 (4): 594–611.

Author: Laura McLeod

Abstract:

UNSCR 1325 is a Security Council Resolution designed to operate in post-conflict contexts. ‘Post-conflict’ is a discourse with contested temporal and spatial aspects, raising questions about how different perspectives towards ‘post-conflict’ has affected interpretations of UNSCR 1325 on the ground. Given the contestability of ‘post-conflict’, surprisingly little research has focused upon how what is identified as the ‘post-conflict problem’ shapes responses to UNSCR 1325. To address this gap, I contrast configurations of ‘post-conflict’ within three different initiatives in Serbia that have drawn upon UNSCR 1325. The constructions of ‘post-conflict’ are understood through an analytical strategy concerned with the representation of conflict and post-conflict reconstruction within each initiative. Making explicit antagonisms at the heart of ‘post-conflict’ demonstrates how the logic of gender security as it relates to UNSCR 1325 is shaped by the specific problematization of ‘post-conflict’. This article outlines new empirical research on the utilization of UNSCR 1325 within three different political contexts in Serbia to assert the importance of realizing the contestability of ‘post-conflict’ contexts in shaping how we might respond to UNSCR 1325, and indeed, any international policy or ambition intended as a response to post-conflict situations.

Keywords: post-conflict, Serbia, UNSCR 1325, gender security, representations, problematization

Topics: Gender, Women, Post-Conflict, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Serbia

Year: 2011

Integrating Gender in Post-Conflict Security Sector Reform

Citation:

Bastick, Megan. 2008. ‘Integrating Gender in Post-Conflict Security Sector Reform’. In SIPRI Yearbook. DCAF. https://www.sipri.org/yearbook/2008/04.

Author: Megan Bastick

Abstract:

The importance of security sector reform (SSR) has increasingly been empha- sized in international engagement with post-conflict countries. In February 2007 the United Nations Security Council stressed that ‘reforming the security sector in post-conflict environments is critical to the consolidation of peace and stability, promoting poverty reduction, rule of law and good governance, extending legitimate state authority, and preventing countries from relapsing into conflict’. National governments also identify SSR as a key tool in con- solidating their authority and healing divisions of the past. This chapter explores the case and methods for addressing gender issues in post-conflict SSR processes, drawing upon experiences in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Liberia, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste, and potential models from Serbia and South Africa. Section II further defines the concepts of SSR and gender, as well as their relationship to each other. The rationale for and experiences of gender mainstreaming in SSR and promoting the full and equal participation of men and women in SSR processes are discussed in section III, with practical examples from post-conflict settings. Section IV focuses on promoting women’s participation in post-conflict security services. Section V examines some challenges for key post-conflict SSR and SSR- related activities, including gender dimensions in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) processes, transitional justice and justice reform. Section VI summarizes the case for integrating gender into future SSR program- ming and policymaking and outlines the key opportunities and challenges. 

 

Keywords: gender, security sector reform, post-conflict, gender mainstreaming

Annotation:

Security sector reform (SSR) is essential to post-conflict peacebuilding in order to prevent the reoccurrence of conflict, to enhance public security, and to create the conditions for reconstruction and development. The importance of women’s participation and gender equality in peacebuilding and security is recognized by many governments and United Nations and donor agencies. However, efforts to promote these goals are often planned and implemented independently of each other, with the result that SSR fails to include women and to address the security needs of the entire population—including women, girls and boys.

Post-conflict SSR processes have used various approaches to address gender issues.

  • In Afghanistan, Kosovo and Liberia SSR measures to recruit and
    retain women, and to make security institutions more responsive to
    gender issues presented challenges but also yielded positive results.
  • In Peru, Sierra Leone and Timor- Leste truth and reconciliation commissions included mechanisms to address the experiences and justice needs of women.
  • Rwandan women parliamentarians made distinctive contributions to SSR by uniting across party and ethnic lines to address issues of women’s security.
  • In Liberia and Sierra Leone disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes contributed to developing operational procedures to ensure that women and girls are not excluded, and that the needs of men and boys are also addressed.
  • In Liberia and South Africa women’s civil society organizations were important partners in linking SSR with local security and justice concerns.

Gender mainstreaming—assessing the impact of SSR policies andactivities on women, men, boys and girls at every stage of the process—is a key strategy. It must be accompanied by steps to ensure that both men and women participate and are represented in SSRprocesses.

Participation of women in post-conflict security services is crucial to creating structures that are representative, trusted and legitimate,and are able to meet the security needs of both men and women.

‘Transitional justice’ and justice reform processes have madeadvances in responding to gender issues. Ad hoc criminal tribunals have prioritized prosecution of sexual violence.

Successful integration of gender in SSR shares the broader challenges of SSR. External actors can encourage and support, but initiatives must be led by local stakeholders. SSR has much to gain byintegrating gender.

 

Megan Bastick (Australia/United Kingdom) is Deputy Head of the Special Programmes Division at the 

Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Kosovo, Liberia, Peru, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Timor-Leste

Year: 2008

Leveraging Change: Women’s Organizations and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Balkans

Citation:

Irvine, Jill A. 2013. ‘Leveraging Change: Women’s Organizations and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Balkans’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 15 (1): 20–38.  

Author: Jill A. Irvine

Abstract:

This article examines how regional and local women’s organizations in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo have used UNSCR 1325 as a tool for organizing and advocacy in three broad areas: women’s inclusion in decision-making processes; regional and human security; and transitional justice. In response to perceived unwillingness by international as well as national actors to implement UNSCR 1325, women’s organizations developed strategies to use this international norm to achieve their goals. They have done this, I argue, through a double ‘boomerang effect’. In their seminal 1998 work, Activists Beyond Borders, Keck and Sikkink demonstrated how NGOs operate to produce a boomerang effect; they appeal to transnational actors to assert international pressure against national governments in order to enforce compliance with human rights norms. In attempting to implement UNSCR 1325, women’s organizations have also often added a reverse dimension, mobilizing local support through grassroots campaigns and regional networks in order to force the United Nations and other international actors to comply with their own resolution concerning women, peace and security. In doing so, they have achieved some success in promoting inclusion. They have been less successful in using UNSCR 1325 as a tool for addressing structural sources of inequality including militarism and neo-liberal models of economic development.

Keywords: UNSCR 1325, women's organizations, political inclusion, human security, transitional justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, Justice, Transitional Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, NGOs, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Human Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia

Year: 2013

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