Transformation Project Homonationalism: EU integration, Ana Brnabić, and (Euro) pride

Author(s): Nikola Maljković
Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Valur Ingimundarson
Homonationalism, Serbian Politics, Otherization, European Union, LGBTI Rights


This paper contributes to the field of instrumental legal theory by using the intersectional theory of homonationalism to examine LGBT politics in Serbia. Homonationalism has been defined as a historical change of perception, involving a transition from a heteronormative to a homonormative nation. The paper explores whether homonationalism as “a Western tool” of decolonizing sexuality can be applied to the case of Serbia, whose “undecided” ideological orientation toward the East or West had led to nationalist efforts to mix modernist cultural impulses with traditionalist ones. Taking into consideration increased nationalist sentiments among the non-normative sexualities of Serbia, it also investigates possible explanations for such intolerance. From a theoretical perspective, the purpose is both to examine the concept of homonationalism as well as its manifestations and implications for the LGBT community in Serbia. The interdisciplinary methodological framework combines qualitative methods of analysis with legal theories. It will be argued that the process of the homonationalization of Serbian society is entering its final phase, with sharpened debates over same-sex partnerships in the media space and in mainstream LGBT activism. Moreover, the question is asked whether a reconfiguration of Serbian homonationalism is taking place through the derogation of its secular and modern assumptions. This paper makes the case that instrumental legislative approaches in Serbia have resulted in the political de-subjectification of the LGBT community, and in an increase in nationalism. Finally, the EU integration process, the case of the lesbian Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, and the staging of EuroPride are analyzed as the most potent manifestations of homonational dynamics in Serbia.