ABSTRACT

This chapter primarily deals with the question of citizenship and the politics of belonging. Croatian citizenship laws were used to enact the post-territorial nationalism elaborated by the Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica (HDZ)—a nationalism that, by taking Croatian ethnicity as its cornerstone, intended to homogenize the national population through the exclusion of non-Croats and to include all ethnic Croats in a single national group, regardless of their place of residence. Despite being one of the "constitutive peoples" of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they were considered potential Croatian citizens in "diaspora" and included in the legislative provisions. While the new act included previously ostracized Croats abroad, it had suddenly excluded from citizenship former Croatian citizens who had lived all their lives in Croatia: ethnic Serbs. About 1,500 Croatian Serbs were indicted after the war—and many were arrested—even after they had been "cleared" for return by the Croatian authorities.