Gender and Nationalism in Serbia: The impact of political ideology on women's human rights

by Juliane M. (Author)

Master's Thesis 2010 56 Pages

Politics - International Politics - Region: South East Europe, Balkans


Table of Contents


1. Theoretical Framework
1.1 Politics of Identity
1.1.1 Community
1.1.2 Identity, Nation and Ethnicity
1.2 Gender and Nationalism

2. The Situation of Women in the Former Yugoslavia- How Socialist Ideology Affected Women's Rights
2.1 The Political Ideology of Socialism and Women
2.2 Reproductive Rights of Women
2.3 Labour rights

3. Nationalist Ideology in Serbia and How it Affected Women's Rights
3.1 The Political Ideology of Nationalism and Women
3.2 Reproductive Rights
3.2.1 Politics and Policies
3.2.2. Enjoyment of Women's Reproductive Rights
3.3 Labour Rights
3.3.1 Politics and Policies
3.3.2 Enjoyment of women's labour rights




Scholars on nationalism, such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte, have already pointed out in the early 19th century that we can detect a clear connection between gender and nation.[1] Namely, within the nationalist discourse, women are solely limited to their reproductive role that is important insofar as it repsents the guarantee for the continuance of the nation as such because women provide the country with children. In contrast, male citizens are associated with strength and power, ready to defend the glory of their fatherland at any time. These pscribed gender roles have been applied in the process of nation-building ever since although not solely.

In particular, these institutionalised gender roles especially seem to serve the interest of 'would-be ethnocrats'[2] because the sexing of a nation as a whole whilst de-sexing its individual members supports social and political coercion and undermines individual agency. According to Mostov, the sensualising of the nation serves as both an effective recruitment strategy and mechanism of sexual repssion.[3] Thus, concerning sexual reproduction the nationalist message is to discourage unregulated sexual activity and limit the proper behaviour of “our“ women to motherhood and defence of national culture and values.

Considering the pviously mentioned arguments, the major aim of the thesis will be to examine the relationship of gender and nation in Serbia which has been, like the other former socialist republics of Yugoslavia, characterised by the rise of nationalism during and after the process of dissolution. Focusing particularly on the issues of reproduction and labour policies, the main purpose of the thesis is to ascertain whether there is a connection between the politics of identity, produced and upheld by religious and nationalist leaders, and the construction of particular policies and legislations that regulate and interfere with the enjoyment of the particular human rights of women. Although research on the interconnection of gender and nationalism exists already, this case study can prove crucial to explicitly link the enjoyment of particular women's human rights to the politics of identity. Whereas the situation of particular women's human rights during communism will only be of comparative interest, the subsequent analysis will explore particular policies and politics with regard to women's rights in Serbia. The historical perspective that is applied in the subsequent research is found most suitable because it identifies political ideology, communism and nationalism, as the major framework for analysis.

Reproductive and labour rights of women are of interest because they are mutually linked and reinforcing. Firstly, it is through reproduction policies and rhetoric that women are limited to their role in pserving the continuance of the nation. In turn, this serves the benefit of the demographic policies of ethnocracies. It is important to note that it is through these policies that hierarchical and patriarchal structures are reinforced. As a logical consequence, this is supposed to have an impact on the enjoyment of women's labour rights because following this argumentation, it is not in the interest of ethnocracies to involve women equally to men into paid labour but rather to reinforce their primary task of reproduction by discriminating them through certain policies related to the labour market.

This is why the aim of this research is to analyse how these specific politics and policies related to reproduction and labour have affected the enjoyment of certain women's human rights. Therefore I will first review certain policies and politics of religious and nationalistic leaders to point out what initiatives they have undertaken in regards to women's reproductive rights. Moreover the thesis will elaborate the enjoyment of women's social, economic rights and cultural rights, such as labour rights (art.6 CESCR) and the right to family life (art.10 CESCR) that are set in the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 1966.[4] Thus, it will be of interest to see how women's participation in the labour market has developed within the framework of changing political ideology and whether we can see significant developments not only for the question of whether women are being employed but also about which types of labour women are carrying out.

For the general theoretical background on politics of identity and 'imagined communities', to which the first chapter is devoted, the research will rely on scholars such as Benedict Anderson, Colin Bell, Anthony D. Smith, Craig Calhoun and Max Weber.[5] They clearly point at connections between communities, politics of identity and societal change and underline that nationalism is only one out of various categories of self-identification (such as gender or race). Moreover, they acknowledge that fact that it depends on several factors whether a certain identity is restricted or enhanced by political elites. Consequently, the thesis will be based on the constructivist approach of nationalism and gender, and will reflect upon some ideas within the constructivist debate. Within the second part of theoretical chapter that deals with the linkage between nationalism, gender roles and specific policies connected to women, this paper will consider prominent scholars such as Julie Mostov, Floya Anthias, Susan Gal and Gail Kligman as well as Nira Yuval-Davis who argue for clear connections between gender and (the emergence of) a nation.

The second chapter will focus on the situation of women during socialist Yugoslavia in light of the political ideology. Firstly, I will give a brief overview of the three constituent principles of the Federation and point out, how in these principles certain images of female and male are pronounced already. In this regard, scholars such as Vesna Kesic, Susan Gal and Gail Kligman provide crucial insights. After that, I will focus on the particular rights that are of interest for the research at hand. For the brief review of women's reproductive and labour rights during socialist Yugoslavia, the research conducted by Ulf Brunnenbauer and Mirjana Rasevic have proven most useful.

The third chapter will deal with Serbia's policies and politics as regards women's human rights in the light of increasing nationalist tendencies. Firstly, I will give a brief outline of how nationalist ideology as such has pictured women and men in the Serbian society and how this in turn has lead to manifest certain gender roles. Secondly, I will review politics and policies related to women's reproductive rights. Subsequently, I will outline the interconnection of religious and nationalist leaders and consider scholars such as Zarana Papic and as Mirjana Rasevic. In addition, I will take into account the legislative framework that has arguably affected the enjoyment of women's rights and consider, among others, the Alternative Report to the CEDAW Committee and data from the World Health Organisation. Consequently, I will show in the subsequent chapter how the policies and politics have been implemented and how this has led in turn to the decrease or increase of women's reproductive rights in Serbia. In order to 'measure' some tendencies in regard to reproductive rights I will look at data on abortion rates and birth control that are provided by state agencies as well as International Organisations. The third objective of this chapter will be to see how nationalist ideology has impacted on the enjoyment of women's labour rights. Again, I will firstly outline some major trends in regard to legislation and point at the significance of politics. Finally, I will analyse how the latter have been realised to consequently answer the question, whether and how they have affected the enjoyment of women's labour rights and look at the Alternative Report to the CEDAW Committee and data provided by International Organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme.

However, we need to acknowledge that we cannot claim the rise of nationalism to be the only determining factor that contributed to specific gender roles and resulted in specific policies. Nevertheless, considering the theoretical background, we can assume that gender has certainly played a major role in the nationalist project and that this has consequently led to certain policies related to women's human rights. Therefore, this thesis will apply a historical perspective on the situation of women's human rights, due to several reasons. Firstly, it is because political ideology, its instrumentalisation and its subsequent impact on the enjoyment of rights by a particular group of the population are difficult to 'measure'. We will not suggest that it was only the changing political ideology that influenced how the situation of women has changed but we have to consider other factors such as the transformation of the economic system as well. In times of economic, political and social crisis it is a well-known dynamic that especially groups that have been already marginalised before, such as women or ethnic minorities within a specific territory, are disproportionally affected by those changes. Marginalisation is then only reinforced. Moreover, we have to take into account that in Serbia the pviously existing social structures have been dominated by patriarchy, which is why the hypothesis can only be that these structures have been furthermore consolidated for the purpose of nationalist rhetoric. Consequently, the subsequent research does not opt to claim for a direct causal chain between nationalism and the situation of women's human rights in Serbia but aims to illustrate tendencies in regard to women's rights within the framework of changing political ideologies.

1. Theoretical Framework

Within this theoretical chapter, the main objective will be to introduce concepts of different types of identification, such as nation, ethnicity and gender and to clarify the importance of community in times of structural changes. Moreover the concept of identity shall be explicated. It is important to note is that all of the categories of identity, such as ethnicity, gender, race and class, are mutually interdependent, reinforcing and sometimes conflicting with one another. If we consider the point mentioned before, the potential of instrumentalisation and politicisation becomes apparent. This is especially true when these categories become an element of politics which is crucial in times of changing economic, social and political systems. As we will see later on this can play an important role when leading to improving or decreasing rights of particular groups and individuals within society, for the benefit of usually only a few others.

The first sub-chapter of the research will rely on theories of Benedict Anderson and Ferdinand Toennies who provide crucial insights into the importance of why community is needed, how it is constructed and thus how it gains significance in the multi-layered processes of modernisation. The sub-chapter deals with different categories of identification; therefore scholars such as Max Weber, Federik Barth and Anthony D. Smith will be mentioned. They explain under which circumstances and in what way national and ethnic identities are supposed to be constructed and interconnected. In that regard, it is important to note that although I am aware of the existence of different theoretical approaches to the concept of nationalism, I will mainly focus on the constructivist perspective because this perspective is most suitable to explain the intersection of gender and nation (as social constructs) in the subsequent analysis.[6]

The concepts of nation and ethnicity are both equally important and deserve consideration because in the subsequent analysis we will deal with ethno-nationalism or 'ethnocracies'. Consequently it is crucial to understand how national and ethnic identities are instrumentalised in times of nation-building and how it is made possible for national identity (tied to ethnicity) to override other forms of identification. Moreover, these scholars explicitly point out the fact that the distinction between ethnic and national identity is vague as which, on occasion mutually reinforce one another.

The second sub-chapter of this theoretical framework will focus on the special interplay between the categories of nation and gender. As the starting point is that both nation and gender are deemed to be social constructs, it will be interesting to point out how, in the process of nation-building, national mythologies use traditional gender roles and how nationalist narratives are filled with images of the nation as mother, wife and maiden.[7] In the following, this sub-chapter will rely on theories on gender and nationalism and hereby mainly use significant normative approaches of Julie Mostov, Rada Ivekovic, Nira Yuval-Davis, Susan Gal and Gail Kligman.

1.1 Politics of Identity

1.1.1 Community

The nature of what community is has been of interest to anthropologist, philosophers and sociologists alike. However, the dispute if the impact of social change has affected our sense of community is highly controversial. At the bare minimum the term community can be associated with a collection of people who live in the same geographical area sharing common interests and Colin Bell states in this regard that “the failure to define what is community is not due to any lack of interest. Indeed the problem is that there are, if anything, too many rather than too few attempts at defining the term”.[8] This leads to assume that the term of community is rather vague and that the vast number of definitions is additionally contributing to complicate a coherent use of the latter. However, the term as such has not lost significance although societal changes have resulted in modifications of its have organisational shape.

Bauman describes community as conveying “all of them promising pleasures, and more often than not the kind of pleasures we would like to experience but seem to miss”[9] and that there is a common conception that a community is where we can “count on each other’s good will. If we stumble and fall, others will help us to stand on our feet again”[10] ultimately protecting us from any hardships that we may face. He therefore suggests that the concept of a community is simply idealistic and something that is socially constructed by us in order for us to gain a sense of protection and security. They are therefore “essentially mental constructs, formed by imagined boundaries between groups”.[11]

Benedict Anderson developed the theory that the community is merely a product of our own imagination which is socially constructed by those who see themselves as belonging to a group.[12] According to him, an example of something that is imagined is nationalism. Anderson believes that community is imagined due to the fact that we will never know all those that make it up. Consequently we have to share some other similarities, such as language, cultural specificities or historical sentiments in order to feel closely tied to people that we do not know in person. This can be seen through the sense of belonging to a nation as a citizen i.e. citizenship. We feel as though we belong to a particular group or nation. However, this is very much as imagined as it is surely impossible to know every individual that makes up a country. Anderson’s theory focuses on the idea that the secularisation of religion has meant that the need to belong to something has increased and that nationalisation is simply a product of this. The idea that we belong to a society where freedom is valued also suggests that there is a need for organisation and social order to take place in order for society to function at its best.

According to Toennies, a German sociologist, the term community symbolised an age where people were interconnected through localised relationships that were dependant socially and economically on one another, particularly before industrialisation. However, implications had been made on what was once considered to be a ‘community’ due to the modern way of life. Bell supports this idea as he claims that “Community was for him [Toennies] the symbol of a past and a better age.”[13] This points at the fact that community has changed due to modernisation processes but that the concept itself still has its right to existence and did not lose significance but changed organisational patterns only.

Toennies looks into the distinction between the Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (association). He finds that through association alone, individuals were “relatively isolated”[14], ultimately lacking social cohesion needed to ensure that society runs smoothly whereby everyone obeys the laws of the nation, sharing the same universal beliefs. “Life in communities by contrast is warmer, more homely and affectionate. Solidarity and harmony, unity of purpose and co-operation”[15] ensure that society will function at its best. Toennies holds onto the belief that the distinction between community and association would be the basis of theoretical sociology that would be able to explain the transition from a rural to the industrialised society. He argued that the social relations are simply the products of human will, the Wesenwille, (our instinctual needs) and the Kurwille (our artificial and rational needs). These wills therefore merely correspond to the community and association as the community (natural will) becomes a consequence of the society (artificial will). Therefore, Toennies implies that both community and association go hand in hand in a society that is trying to evolve.

1.1.2 Identity, Nation and Ethnicity

Identity is rather a description of a process than a categorical concept because it is constituted within repsentation.[16] This implies that identities are fluid, complex and socially constructed and in this sense it becomes apparent that they can be subject to (intended) transformation in a way, that certain categories of identity are encouraged while others are discouraged simultaneously. Moreover this understanding of the term proposes that identities are not fixed but are embedded in the ongoing processes of history, power and culture and can therefore be considered more 'routes' than 'roots'. As a sociological concept it does primarily provide a link between the individual and a specific group of people and is therefore about the classification and the process of associating oneself with someone or something.[17] The concept itself is more open and flexible than that of ethnicity, for instance, it implies that ethnicity is just one type of bond, additionally to religion, nation, tribal distinctions, kinship, class, gender and rural-versus-urban oppositions. The different principles of identification do usually overlap and correlate and are found to be important all together to establish bonds of loyalty and to assign social roles.

The concept of identity especially gains importance when it is used as an element of politics. Issues centring on identity are in this context said to provide a key to understand nationalism and ethnicity. According to Anderson and his concept of imagined communities, ethnic and other cultural groups form themselves on the basis of an idea, through an act of imagination.[18] Consequently, language, religion and other possible elements of identification do not automatically lead to the formation of groups that is differentiated from others. For the act of differentiation it is necessary for the group to imagine the specific group as an entity. The resulting question is, under what conditions is an imagined community chosen over an actual one and why do people do feel more in common with people they do not actually know rather than, for instance, with their own neighbours. An example of this can be seen through the expansion of internet chat rooms and forums, where individuals rely on developing a relationship with one another which does not heavily depend on physical interaction. In contrast we can argue that people may not feel related to each other at all although they share geographical closeness which can among other things be explained by differences in culture, nationality or ethnicity.

In the case of ethnic nationalism, Calhoun states that “[...] ethnic nationalism arises out of a sense of alienation, on the one hand, and resentment against unfair exclusion, whether political, economic or social.”[19] Subsequently it can be summarised that ethnic conflict is caused by a sense of alienation and injustice and therefore ethnic identity is consequently determined by disparities in cultures and interests. Of particular importance in this context are shame and anger sequences because they signal the state of social bond as much as they cause and are caused by alienation.[20] In this regard, the relevance of (intended) bias gains significance and we need to take into account that it is crucial to consider how 'we' and the 'other(s)' are portrayed. This means that in order for one group to distance itself from others it firstly has to generate some (imagined) similarities among themselves. This is usually done in contrast to others, makes one group imagining itself as distinct from another and can, if politicised, lead to conflicts between groups in consequence.

Fredrik Barth deals with the construction of ethnic identity. Already in the 1960's he had developed a 'constructivist paradigm'.[21] Briefly, it says that the pdictors of an ethnic group are not cultural characteristics but the boundaries which an ethnic group is creating in difference to others. Anyhow, he points at ethnic and national identities to be constructed and therefore being products of self- and alien-identification. National and ethnic groups are said to be 'communities of interest' and their construction as based on cultural differences. Consequently, we can speak about ethnicity being the politicisation of cultural difference. The self-image of an ethnic or national 'solidarity of interests' is in this context significantly forced by people that aim at fostering antagonistic interests. In this sense, the national state does ambiguously create ethnic identity or ethnicity. This process is ambiguous because the nation state does homogenise the identity of the majority population which goes hand in hand with enforcing this identity upon other parts of the population at the same time. Secondly, it is only by this policy that ethnic minorities are created.

Max Weber was among the first to bring the terminology of ethnic groups into the academic debate in the beginning of the 20th century. As regards the definition of ethnic communities he states that it is crucial for the formation of ethnic groups that they belief in common descent but that this does not necessarily need to correspond to reality and no objective blood relationship needs to exist.[22] This highlights the fact that he sees the existence of ethnic groups as something that is not more real than other forms of identification and that consequently, ethnicity is something that is constructed. He has also contributed to define which elements to consider when we speak of nations.[23] Firstly, Weber states that language is only one out of several factors that make up a nation and that is not necessarily a p-condition for the latter to emerge. For the national project to be successful there have to be shared cultural values such as religion and moreover national “solidarity may be connected with differing social structure and mores and hence with 'ethnic' elements [...].”[24]

Of utmost importance are the two elements of the belief in common political destiny and the sentiment of common blood that Weber stresses, because they point at the fact that the act of imagination is crucial for creating a (national) sense of belonging. Hence, he continues arguing that these two elements are equally important for the “solidarity of ethnic communities”[25] but that they would not automatically lead to the formation of a nation. For the nation to come into being it deserves an additional element: “national sentiment is variously related to political associations.”[26] Concluding, he points out that the emergence of a nation has to be viewed as political act and that it is merely a product of the will of a small elite which fosters that process. Therefore, it is nothing natural but something that is constructed.

Another significant author dealing with the construction and intersection between ethnic and national communities is Anthony D. Smith. He looks at the “ethnic origins of nations” and agrees with the modernist claim that nationalism, both as ideology and movement, is a wholly modern phenomenon.[27] Following his argumentation, the specificity of ethnic collectivities is to be found in its “myth-symbol complex”[28] which is very durable over time, rather than in any social, economic or political features of the collectivity. He therefore claims that the mythic homeland is in reality more important for the national identity than the actual territory a nation occupies. In contrast to Anderson for instance, he warns against oversimplified notions of imagined communities and invented traditions.

Thus, Smith argues that no matter whether a state homogenises ethnicity or whether this happens due to other socio-economic and political processes that lead to the formation of a group, it is important to consider the inherent connection between ethnic and national projects.[29] He continues to point out that although it is important to look at the historical specificity of the construction of collectivities, there is no inherent difference between ethnic and national collectivities as both are, in Anderson's sense, imagined communities.[30] “Its [nationalism] success depends on specific cultural and historical contexts, and this means that the nations it helps to create are in turn derived from p-existing and highly particularized cultural heritages and ethnic formulations.”[31] This means that we need to consider several factors that contribute to the prosperousness of the nationalist project and that consequently, nationalism cannot be successful at any place in any time. Moreover, Smith clearly points at the mutual interdependence of both ethnic and national identity and therefore it has proven to be useful to clarify what exactly we mean when we use the term identity.

If we take nationalism as one prototype for the politics of identity we must consequently follow the view that nationality is constructed and that it is not more real than other categories of self-identification such as gender or race. The nationalist claim, in contrast, is for the national identity to override all other kinds of identity like region or political pference. “In the formative phases of nationalism, heroic individuals-cultural as well as military and political heroes- figure prominently, but often in the established nation, conforming to the common culture becomes a central value.”[32] Hence it becomes obvious that although in the early stage of group formation single leaders have an important role to play (to mobilise), for pserving the nation there must be established something that we can refer to as common values.

This however also implies that the character of nationalism can change in the way that it is transformed from a movement to be the dominant ideology. Also it maps out the importance of single leaders in the context of nationalism. Furthermore we can already suppose that nationalist rhetoric is strongly tied to a male conception of power, taking into account which role military heroes and heroic individuals (males) play in the imaginative act of forming a nation. In any case, whether national identity overrides other identities does mainly depend on both the cultural context and the psence/absence of cross-cutting social ties and mediating institutions. As we will see in the following sub-chapter, this is crucial in considering the connection between different categories of identification such as gender and nation for our particular case.

1.2 Gender and Nationalism

“If the woman does not want to be a Mother, Nation is on its way to die.”[33] This quotation needs to be put in the context of nationalist ideas about the role of women and has in this regard been used by a leader of the Croatian Catholic church to underline the significance of women within the nationalist project. This leads us to recognise the importance of specific notions about 'manhood' and 'womanhood' being implied when reflecting on nations.[34] These different notions about what women and men are supposed to be and to perform within the nationalist project, significantly contradict the main claim of nationalist ideology as they oppose the idea of homogenisation. In this regard, it is exactly through the act of pscribing different roles and characteristics to different genders that the patriarchal and homogeneous vision of the community is challenged. This is due to the fact that nationalist discourse claims dialectic relations between genders while it demands equality and unity of the homogenised national community together which is a contradiction per se.

This gains further importance when we consider the role of (women's) body in the nationalist rhetoric. On one hand, nationalists claim that there must be an equal set of relations between individuals for the act of homogenisation to be successful. On the other hand, they propose that these relations must be diverse because women and men have different tasks to perform. Nonetheless, they do not take into account that there must also be an acknowledgement of the difference in how females and males perceive their body and that women, solely through being possibly capable of bearing a child, must have a different relation to their body as in the case of men. This points at the importance of psychological as well as social factors when we reflect on gender within the framework of nationalism and makes clear, that there are major shortcomings in the binary conception of the homogenised, national community.

As regards the different notions of 'womanhood' and 'manhood' linked to Anderson's considerations about communities, coming into being solely through the act of imagination, it becomes obvious that for the nationalist project to be successful there must also be clear images of who has to play which roles. This is why it is important to analyse and relate the notion of gender to nationalist movements and ideologies on one hand but also to consider the institutions of the state on the other hand.[35] We need to take into account that nations and their construction are situated in specific historical moments and that they are established by different groups who are competing for hegemony.

However, we also need to consider that women's oppssion is as well related to their manifested location in a different social sphere in comparison to that of men.[36] Binary divides such as public versus private as well as natural versus civilised domains are going hand in hand with divides of male versus female categories. Therefore, women's identification with nature is not only the cause for their exclusion from the civilised, public, political sphere but at the same time depicts an explanation for the fact that in all cultures women are less valued (socially) than it is the case with men.[37] This is due to images of women being associated with creating things naturally (bearing children) and men creating things culturally (using force).

It follows that we cannot think of the categories of gender and nation separately but have to consider the intersection of both concepts. Gender and nation construct both individual subjectivities and social lives and at the same time the social and political projects of nations and states.[38] Hence, pssures on women to reproduce do often not relate to them individually but as members of specific national collectivities. In this context Ivekovic and Mostov state that “practices of nation-building employ social constructions of masculinity and femininity that support a division of labour in which women reproduce the nation physically and symbolically and men protect, defend, and avenge the nation.”[39]

Another important notion of women in regard to the nation is the symbolic meaning of women's body within the nationalist rhetoric. In that the body of women is a symbol of fecundity of the nation, it becomes a vessel for its reproduction and has a meaning as territorial marker.[40] On one hand women designate the space of a nation and at the same time they are the property of the nation. Thus, it is just a logical consequence that women and women's body require the defence and protection by men. Women and feminine bodies are in this sense to be regarded as markers of borders and struggles are played out over their bodies in three significant ways.[41] Firstly, these struggles can take place over the feminine space of the nation as such, in form of battlefields and homes. Secondly, struggles are played out over the actual female body which is strongly connected to territory and based on demographic and reproductive policies. Lastly, women become significant to the idea of the nation and are worth struggles through the nation as idea (mother) and their collective (receptive) body.


[1] Prior to the research we have to define what exactly we mean when we apply the terminology of gender. Gender is, as opposed to the biological understanding of women and men, perceived as a social construct. This implies that it is nothing natural but has to be thought of as embedded in social contexts. The construction of gender goes hand in hand with suggesting a binary order as well as it establishes dialectic relations of inferiority-superiority. At the same time the comphension of gender being a social construct implies that it is nothing fixed but that it can be transformed which shows its potential for (social) change.

[2] Mostov, Julie. Sexing the nation/ Desexing the body. Politics of national identity in the former Yugoslavia. in: Mayer, Tamar. Gender ironies of nationalism: sexing the nation. Oxon: Routledge, 2000.

[3] Ibid.

[4] International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 (entry into force 3 January 1976, in accordance with article 27) http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cescr.htm accessed 10 October 2010.

[5] Most of the scholars that deal with nationalism are male and do not explicitly link the concept to implications that it might have for gender roles. Generally speaking, the topic of gender and nationalism is rather marginal within the overall debate on nationalism.

[6] However, Max Weber for instance explains the importance of imagining 'common blood' for a nation to successfully emerge which points at a primordial notion of nation.

[7] Ivekovic, Rada and Mostov, Julie ed. From Nation to Gender, Ravenna: Longo, 2002, 9.

[8] Bell, Colin and Newby, Howard ed. The Sociology of Community, London: Frank Cass and Company Limited, 1974, 1.

[9] Bauman, Zygmunt. Community Seeking Safety In An Insecure World Polity Press, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, 1.

[10] Ibid. 2.

[11] Abercrombie, Nicholas. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology, Fourth Edition, London: Penguin, 2000, 65.

[12] Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: reflections on the origin and spad of nationalism, Ninth Edition, London: Verso, 1999, 6.

[13] Bell, The Sociology of Community, xi.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] McCrone, David. The Sociology of Nationalism, London and New York: Routledge, 1998, 32.

[17] Duijzings, Ger. Religion and the Politics of Identity in Kosovo, London: Hurst & Company, 2000, 18.

[18] Calhoun, Craig. Social Theory and the Politics of Identity, Oxford- Cambridge: Blackwell, 1994, 278.

[19] Ibid. 281.

[20] Ibid. 294.

[21] Barth, Federik. Ethnic groups and boundaries in Kaser, Karl, Siegried Gruber and Robert Pichler. Historische Anthropologie im südöstlichen Europa-Eine Einführung[ Historical anthropology in South Eastern Europe- An Introduction], Wien- Köln- Weimar: Böhlau Verlag, 2003, 388.

[22] Weber, Max. Economy and Society, vol. 2, Berkeley: University of California Press, [1922]1978 , 389.

[23] Gerth, Hans H. and Wright, Mills Charles, ed. From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, New York: Oxford University Press, 1946, 172.

[24] Ibid. 173.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid. 175.

[27] Smith, Anthony D. The Ethnic origins of nations, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1988, 18.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Duval-Davis, Nira. Gender and Nation, London: Sage Publications, 1997, 16.

[31] Smith, Anthony. Nations and nationalism in a global era, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1995, viii.

[32] Kaser, Historische Anthropologie im südöstlichen Europa- Eine Einführung, 316

[33] Karaman, Msg. in Narod (Zagreb, Croatia) no.10, 9 September 1995, 14.

[34] The instrumentalisation of language is another major issue connected with nationalism and the construction of national identity. Due to the limited scope of research, it cannot be dealt with in more detail but it remains important to note, that through the act of pscibing different characteristics to either women or men (nation and fatherland for instance) gender roles in a particular society are being significantly shaped and manifested. Moreover, as language constitutes one major element to distinguish 'us' from 'them', its potential for instrumentalisation becomes obvious, too.

[35] Yuval-Davis, Gender and Nation, 4.

[36] Ibid. 5.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Yuval-Davis, Gender and Nation, 22.

[39] Ivekovic and Mostov, From Gender to Nation, 10.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid.


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  • Juliane M. (Author)



Title: Gender and Nationalism in Serbia: The impact of political ideology on women's human rights