Governing the sense of belonging: An anthropological analysis of "culture"and "identity" in the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia

  • Čarna Brković
he Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, cultural policy, cultural belonging, identity


The topic of this work is critical reconsideration of a cultural idea which is standardized by the highest political-legal document of the Republic of Serbia. I am starting from the assumption that if in the Constitution as a "founding legal and political document of a state", are incorporated concepts of human rights, and, particularly, the rights of the minorities (as set apart and protected), then a certain idea is standardized by it, i.e., a concept about what is Culture or what it should be. The analysis points out to three main problems which stem from writings about culture in the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia from 2006. Firstly, the concept of culture used in the Constitution is grounded in the aged anthropological idea of culture as a complete, homogenous, and authentic whole. This idea of culture carries a great potential for creating cultural conflicts. Secondly, the ways of managing cultural belonging are not carefully considered. The writers of the Constitution have not offered the mechanisms to resolve the potential cultural clashes in which all conflicted parties respect the constitutionally offered solutions. Thirdly, in the Constitution, theses of liberal and multicultural policy of identity are not carefully united. Combining the idea of free and equal citizens with the recognition of specific cultural rights of the minority’s demands developing a specific system for overcoming their contradictions. Such a system has not been offered by the Constitution.


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How to Cite
Brković, Čarna. 2008. “Governing the Sense of Belonging: An Anthropological Analysis of "culture"and "identity" In the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 3 (2), 59-76.