Transnational citizenship: Views of Serbia's active diaspora

Members of the Serbian diaspora, especially those vocal in representing their home country’s views, have previously been regarded as leaning towards nationalistic stances. The results of recent elections, however, indicate that today a rather different situation might be present. The study that will be presented in this seminar confirms this indication. The analysis sheds light on the political views of Serbian citizens abroad, discussing the results of two surveys conducted around the 2017 Serbian presidential elections. Three main sets of findings concerning the attitudes of the ‘active diaspora’ (diaspora members who took part, or wanted to take part, in the voting process) are outlined. First, there is a decisive rejection of the course the country has taken. Second, it is shown that concerns about governance top by far geopolitical issues. Finally, respondents have highlighted a wide-ranging set of issues concerning the voting procedure, which have hindered their ability to participate in the vote. They are used as a basis to formulate recommendations for a better electoral process for the diaspora. The overall findings indicate that Serbia’s active diaspora might have the potential to participate more vigorously in the political life of the country and that, if emboldened, its weight in future elections could be much higher. Next to outlining the results of the study on Serbian voters abroad, the seminar will also touch upon the current provisions and trends in terms of the diaspora vote in the countries of the Western Balkans from a comparative perspective.