Date of Award

Fall 12-2023

Thesis Access

Open Access Honors Thesis

Thesis Location

Honors College Thesis

Degree Name



Political Science

Faculty Advisor

Nadejda Marinova


This paper examines the relationship between the Croatian diaspora and the Croatian nation with the goal of better understanding this relationship and how diasporas can affect the homeland politically. I attempt to do this by studying and analyzing the history of the diaspora, their identity formation, and their actions throughout the 20th century. I begin with a look at the origins of the Croatian diaspora, and the developing relationship between the diaspora and the government of the homeland. With this, as changes in the makeup of the diaspora affected the relationship with the homeland, changes in the homeland also affected the developments of the diaspora. As independence for Croatia became a more tangible goal, the diaspora became politically active as a united force, guided by diaspora organizations and political elites. The Croatian diaspora played a significant role in the Croatian War of Independence in the 1990s as it funded the conflict and provided political and humanitarian aid. Through these actions, the diaspora became embedded into the Croatian nation and continued to impact politics after the war. Following independence, the main mechanism of action, although at a significantly lower level of participation, became voting in national elections. Political elites in Croatia have since utilized diaspora voting for political gains and worked to ensure the diaspora remains tied to Croatia economically and politically. Through this, the diaspora remains an active part of the Croatian political landscape. Overall, this honors thesis contributes to the literature on diasporas and Eastern European political studies.