Introduction: Citizenship in Post-Communist Eastern Europe
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Citizenship has been rediscovered in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the communist regimes and the breakdown of multi-national states. This rediscovery revealed not only great opportunities with regard to democratic inclusion, national redefinition and the remedying of past wrongs but also important risks, such as legal and political exclusion, ethnic engineering and discrimination. The broader revival of citizenship in recent decades has triggered a renewed academic interest in issues of citizenship, albeit this research had remained biased towards Western experiences, such as long-term immigration and social integration. Although it would be ill-advised to talk of Eastern European models of citizenship, the region does present a number of empirical and theoretical puzzles that can enrich the existing literature by challenging conventional approaches and stimulating more-balanced and contextual theoretical perspectives.
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