Igor Štiks

Igor StiksIgor Štiks is a Research Fellow at the Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. He joined the Edinburgh College of Art in April 2014 to work on his research project “Citizen-Artist: Creative Citizenship in Occupied Spaces” in which he explores the interaction between occupations of public spaces, inventive forms of self-rule and artistic expression. Drawing inspiration from critical political theory, his research contributes to the fields of citizenship and urban cultural studies, as well as to scholarship on social movements and engaged art.

Igor Štiks is the author of Nations and Citizens in Yugoslavia and the Post-Yugoslav States: One Hundred Years of Citizenship (Bloomsbury, 2015). Together with Jo Shaw he edited the collections Citizenship after Yugoslavia (Routledge, 2013) and Citizenship Rights (Ashgate, 2013), and, with Srećko Horvat, Welcome to the Desert of Post-Socialism: Radical Politics after Yugoslavia (Verso, 2015).

He is also the author of two novels, A Castle in Romagna and Elijah’s Chair, which have won numerous awards and have been translated into a dozen European languages.


Presented Lecture: “Emancipatory Citizenship: From Activism to Insurrection”

In my presentation I will define three major forms of activism: protest, critique and emancipation. Protest steps outside the formal and legally defined spaces of active citizenship, but is mostly a reaction, a rally, a resistance, an act against either government or regime and their concrete measures and policies. A different phenomenon can be observed when protests also develop a critique of political and socio-economic system (in the contemporary context, often as critique of electoral democracy and neoliberal capitalism). Furthermore, activist citizenship can be seen as emancipatory when it not only contains both protest and critique but at the same time implements within a concrete (occupied) space a new political, social or economic model. Here I will distinguish between two forms of emancipation: ‘emancipation from’ existing oppression and subordination, and a new ‘emancipation form’ as a new socio-political model. However, many actions of this type are temporary and as such are often defined as prefigurative of what is yet to come i.e. as experiments in hostile environment. In this respect, they have an insurrectionary potential and could indeed develop into insurrections with a variety of possible scenarios in their clash with the existing regime. I will discuss the political, social and psychological challenges and obstacles that these new profoundly democratic and anti-capitalist models face in their eventual transformation from temporary prefiguration into insurrection and, possibly, sustainable realization.


Selected List of Publications

  • “‘New Left’ in the Post-Yugoslav Space: Issues, Sites, and Forms”, Socialism and Democracy 29 (2015): 3, 12 p.
  • Nations and Citizens in Yugoslavia and the Post-Yugoslav States: One Hundred Years of Citizenship (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).
  • Welcome to the Desert of Post-Socialism: Radical Politics After Yugoslavia (Verso Books, 2015, with S. Horvat).
  • “The New Balkan Revolts: From Protests to Plenums, and Beyond”, in: Arsenijevic, D. (ed.), The Unbribable Bosnia-Herzegovina (Baden-Baden: Nomos verlagsgesellschaft, 2014, with S. Horvat).
  • “Citizenship Rights: Statues, Challenges and Struggles”, Belgrade Journal of Media and Communications 6, 2014, p. 73-90 (with J. Shaw).
  • Citizenship Rights (Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2013, with J. Shaw).
  • “A Laboratory of Citizenship: Shifting Conceptions of Citizenship”, in: J. Shaw and I. Stiks, Yugoslavia and post-Yugoslav States: Citizenship after Yugoslavia (Routledge 2012).