Conflicting Responses to Djokovic’s Deportation: Citizenship, The Rule of Law, and Commercial Nationalism

Zala Volcic, Nikolas Matovinovic, Mark Andrejevic


This article focuses on the international incident sparked by Djokovic’s arrival in Australia, unvaccinated, to consider the forms of citizenship associated with the rise of nation branding and its attendant forms of commercial nationalism. The combination of commercial and national identity highlights the convergence of the economic and political characteristics of commercial nationalism. This is a context in which consumer sovereignty reconfigures and displaces civic commitments. To explore the dimensions of this version of citizenship and the tension between its existence and alternative versions, we interviewed 12 Serbian Australians shortly after the Djokovic incident (March–May 2022) and conducted a media textual analysis of Serbian and Australian media. We argue that Djokovic became an avatar for the elevation of a consumerist version of citizenship in which the social contract featured as a form of oppression from which consumers-as-king can exempt themselves.


Djokovic, commercial nationalism, media, brand, sports

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