Krasteva A., A. Kasabova, D. Karabinova (eds) Migrations from/to Southeastern Europe. 2010.

Normalization is the word that challenges 24 scholars from 9 countries to sum up the diverse processes of migration from and to the Balkans at the beginning of the 21st century. The main trends are from forced migration to returns, focusing on the events of the countries of former Yugoslavia, from ethnic to economic logic when directing the attention to the minorities in Bulgaria and Romania, and from definitive migration to circular migration after the fall of the Iron Curtain – migration equals mobility. Normalization is the word for following the patterns of European migrations, where seasonal workers to highly qualified migrants, students to undocumented migrants and “traditional” refugees – all different forms of migration constitute the patchwork of migration, on the routes of modern people on the way to their happiness and achievements. 19 articles about migration to and from the region draw the figure of the Balkan migrant – and take you on an exciting journey to known and unknown tracks of humanity.

Introduction, ANNA KRASTEVA

Migrations: Challenges and Policies

From a socialism of migrants towards a Europe of mobilities, IVAYLO DITCHEV

The article draws a parallel between internal migration during socialism and transnational mobility in the years before EU accession of Bulgaria. The two epochs seem radically different – modernization vs. globalization, control and borders vs. individualism and deterritorialization. Nevertheless, some common patterns seem to emerge in the long term period, which may serve to define cultures at the periphery of the industrial world. The state of permanent mobility, implying the split of belongings and loyalties induces docility and lowers citizenship standards. Living in a temporary world under various conditionalities makes out of the socialist migrants, as well as of the new mobile workers of transition, the perfect raw material fuelling the machine of capitalism.

Migration in the Former Yugoslav Republics

MILKA BUBALO ŽIVKOVIĆ, TAMARA KOVAČEVIĆ, ANDJELIJA IVKOV

This paper analyses the process of migrations in the republics of former Yugoslavia in the period 1996 to 2002, as well as the most intensive directions of those migrations. In the second half of the 20th century, former Yugoslavia was characterised by the economic migrations. Population was moving to the countries of Central and Western Europe to find employment. However, by the end of the 20th century, due to warfare, there was an intensive movement of the population, but these migrations were caused by political, ethnical and religious reasons. Migrations in this period, on the territory of former Yugoslavia, have mostly affected Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Macedonia and Slovenia have all the migrant categories, but in a significantly smaller number.

Migration in Croatia: what to expect? SILVA MEŽNARIĆ

There are several reasons for expecting that changes in Croatia’s status – from a candidate country to an as­so­ciated member of the EU – will change the migration configuration of the region and the country: i.e. from a country that was recently marked by emigration to a country of immigration. Although unreliable, aggregate data from as early as 2005 points towards this change. In an attempt to address the question of Croatia’s immigrant policy – and in view of the non-existence of reliable data and policies on the part of Croatia, the article analyzes the more or less reliable theoretical and the administrative frame­work of EU association in the field of migration, the experiences of recently associated members with the same or similar historical frameworks – Slovenia, Poland and Bulgaria, and experiences of “successful” immigration policies, in Ireland, Australia and the USA.

New European immigrants and community cohesion in Britain, EUGENIA MARKOVA and RICHARD BLACK

This article draws on a study about the experiences, perceptions, and aspirations of new immigrants from five Eastern European countries living in the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hackney, and the City of Brighton & Hove.  It also explores how the presence of these new immigrants – from Albania, Bulgaria, Russia, Serbia &Montenegro, and Ukraine – affects community cohesion.

Integration and Inclusion

Being a foreign woman in Bulgaria, ANNA KRASTEVA

The objective of the article is to present the first study in Bulgaria on gender and migration. The study comprises a survey of two hundred foreign women and twenty four in-depth interviews. Life as an immigrant is often described in terms of deprivation, discrimination, and difficulty. Migrant women in Bulgaria also face several problems, and the list of disadvantages is longer than the one of advantages. The survey justifies one general rule for migrants: to get recognition the foreigner needs to invest greater efforts than the Bulgarian. This is even more the case for women. Being a migrant woman means accumulating two tiers of disadvantages. However, the portrait of the female migrant in Bulgaria is quite positive. This is a striking difference in comparison with most of the studies on gender and migration in western European countries. Several migrant women in Bulgaria are active, integrated, satisfied persons who have kept their language and culture and relations with the community of their compatriots, but who feel Bulgaria as their second motherland.

Social distances towards the new immigrants in Bulgaria, ALEXEY PAMPOROV

The paper focuses on the ethnic prejudices towards the new immigrants in Bulgaria thought as a disposition to maintain certain degrees of social distance. In a national representative survey, an adjusted Bogardus social distance scale was applied to 24 ethnic groups living in Bulgaria. There are two types of distance discussed: living area distances and working area distances. The survey outcome suggests that there five types of new immigrant communities: 1) Most welcomed, 2) Welcomed, 3) Unwelcome, 4) Most Unwelcome, 5) Ambivalent. The place of respondent’s residence is the second significant factor determining social distances. The prejudices toward the ethnic minorities are lower in the bigger cities and higher in the small towns and villages. The age group and the gender of the respondents do not indicate significant correlation with both types of social distances.

Brains on the move, ANDREAS BREINBAUER

The  article outlines definitions and the theoretical background of the mobility of highly qualified, the brain drain respectively, discusses the different terms of the mobility of the Highly Skilled, especially those of researchers as well as students and assesses the extent of the flows especially from the former socialist countries in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe. Further, it takes a closer look at outward mobility in the former socialist countries in Europe, especially in South Eastern Europe, in the period before and after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Finally, the article outlines general policy options in dealing with the mobility of the Highly Qualified in particular the diaspora option for the South Eastern European Countries.

Brain drain: The Albanian case, FATMIR MEMAJ, ALBERT QARRI, PETRIT DOLLANI

Under the main stream of the massive emigration that is evident with its dimensions and intensity, there exists the phenomenon of the “brain drain” from Albania. This form of emigration has already involved qualified specialists from all fields of the intellectual activity. The paper is treating the profile of brain drain and  the main characteristics of Albanian elite migration and explores the prevailing common causes of the brain drain. The main objective of the paper is to analyze the current state of the brain drain phenomenon in Albania as well as evaluate the socio-economic and cultural development that affects the intellectual labour market.

Bulgarian students in Vienna, DIANA KARABINOVA

The life stories of Bulgarian students in Austria are a part of the post-1989 Bulgarian Democratic puzzle and its affiliated phenomena. This article outlines the possible pathways of Bulgarian students in Austria, and illustrates that in spite of institutional and financial constraints there are many options for finding a way into Austrian society. Integration into the Austrian labour market alongside their studies is a common goal for all students, and all kinds of solutions are sought and considered righteous and legitimate. The survey provides a starting point for further analysis and discussion of all aspects of life and studies concerning Bulgarian students abroad, and their complex and multifaceted impact on both receiving and sending societies.

Labor Migration and Remittances

Transborder migration: the example of Western Macedonia, PETKO HRISTOV

The article presents the author’s fieldwork in Northwestern Macedonia during the summer of 2005. The traditions of seasonal male labor migrations (gurbet) in Galichnik, Lazaropole, Vevchani and the Debartsa region near Struga, as well as their reflection in traditional culture are presented – in life cycle rituals, traditional feast calendar, toponimy and social organization of these villages. The annual journeys of men from these regions “at work” and “for gain” (pechalba) developed throughout the years specific features of the family models and marriage strategies, as well as the feast-ritual system and folklore of the local communities.These specific traditions of labour mobility and gurbet culture show considerable stability in a number of regions on the Balkans, a source of new waves of temporary migrants who, under the influence of the new conditions in the region after the 1990s, often settle permanently in the “host” country, thus becoming immigrants.

The role of remittances in the Albanian economy, ESMERALDA URUCI

Remittances, being of crucial importance for most Albanians, have become a typical phenomenon in the Albanian economy. Recently, this money is not regarded only as income sources for non-productive purposes, for meeting essential needs related to improved standard of living, but also as sources of financing for productive purposes, in the form of real estate investments or other long-term investments. The study describes the remittances’ flow in Albania and the financial reform process with a particular focus on the banking system reform. It aims at analyzing the existing conditions in Albania to formalize a productive use of the remittances and to put forward some cooperation policy proposals.

Cultures and Interculturality

National churches in multicultural setting: The Eastern Orthodoxy in Vienna, ANELIA KASABOVA

The article aims at highlighting the role of Eastern Orthodox Churches in the multicultural setting of Vienna, focusing, at an institutional macro-level, on the relations between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the state (both state of origin and host state).  The latent tension between the national Eastern Orthodox autocephalous churches has historical roots, even if not officially acknowledged via Austrian religious legislation. The preservation of national culture and establishment of national identity are paramount concerns for all Eastern Orthodox Churches. This corresponds to the Austrian policy of Multiculturalism and is supported by it. An overview of Eastern Orthodox Church policy allows to develop a hypothesis regarding the lack of social doctrine.

‘The British are coming!’: a Bulgarian village facing EU integration, MAGDALENA ELCHINOVA

The article presents a relatively new phenomenon in the Bulgarian society, namely the new residents from Western Europe. The phenomenon was triggered out by the recent association of Bulgaria to the EU and has deeply influenced the structure and character of certain local communities. The article describes the case of Hotnitsa, a village in Veliko Turnovo area, which hosts one of the biggest communities of new residents, predominantly British citizens, who settled there between 2002 and 2007. The major issues of discussion include an introduction to the local community with its basic accents in identity construction; a brief social portrait of the newcomers, as well as a description of the reasons for their coming to Bulgaria and plans for the future.  Finally, the discussion focuses at the transformations taking place in the local community and at the possible directions of its development: towards a truly international entity or towards a fragmented multinational association.

First generation Bulgarian migrants to the Czech Republic: language practice, VESELA VLADIMIROVA

The paper deals with the status of the minority language existing inside a foreign ethnic community. Our focus is set upon the Bulgarian immigrants’ community in the Czech Republic which forms an ethnical minority inside the Czech homogenic ethnic group. The paper is aimed mainly at the language domains of Bulgarian speakers in a foreign linguistic environment. Nevertheless it traces the formation of the Bulgarian diaspora from a historical point of view and subsequently deals with questions, connected to the language practice (language maintenance and language usage) of the Bulgarian immigrants in the Czech Republic.

Displacement and Asylum

Migrating gender and spatialising belongingness: femininities and masculinities in the diaspora

ANASTASIA CHRISTOU

This paper considers how femininities and masculinities are practiced, performed, negotiated and narrated in the diaspora. The focus is on how gendered identities are appropriated within gendered power diasporic relations. The main concern is to discuss spatialised performativities of gendered participation and exclusion in the diaspora in order to examine the kinds of hegemonic processes that take place in diasporic settings. Through oral testimonies and migrant narratives of Greek-Danes the article seeks to tease out the relationship between nation, belongingness, home, power and the performance of feminine and masculine roles within diasporic communities. Through the analysis of the ethnographic and other material, migration and return migration emerge as multi-faceted phenomena that profoundly impact on identification processes. Migrancy is a highly complex yet illuminating aspect of gendered identification processes we understand cultural and gendered encounters that become a core component in the study of a critical human geography of migration and return migration.

Serbian unfinished business: refugees and internally displaced persons, MIRJANA BOBIĆ

The destiny of refugees and IDPs, that are at the focus of this paper, is not only the tragic epilogue to the political dissolution of ex Yu states, but also to the breakdown of one ideology of brotherhood and unity. Besides that, they had been one of the direct objectives of civil wars that took place in the 1990ties. In Serbia, they have gotten all the features of “minority group”, despite their relatively great number (around 100 000). The reasons of their social exclusion must be looked upon to their very low assets, high levels of unemployment and poverty, lack of national strategies. Besides, Serbia itself is overburdened with unresolved political challenges, stalled process of post socialistic transformation, hardships in establishing liberal democracy since 2000, economic deprivation, all of which have been accompanied by poor social protection policies and lack of funding. The interplay of all above mentioned is, therefore, „pushing“ the great majority of population towards the mere survival and lifestyle of “day after day”.

Internally displaced persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina: policy developments in managing displacement waves, VANYA IVANOVA

This paper focuses on several aspects of the policy developments in the country: the scope of displacement through the years 1992 – 1995 – 2008; the progress made on one front – the legal framework of the state and from another – the challenges ahead the ones displaced and the ones who have returned; integration strategies at governmental and nongovernmental level. The paper puts stress on the political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina after Dayton and the main waves of internal displacement. It discusses the reasons driving the return of displaced ones and challenges of their integration and those still displaced. This part attempts to advance reasons for displacement and sheds light on their plight, because refugees and IDPs return and integration to and in post-conflict countries is a measure of political success in a recovering state.

The Refugee as a specific figure of post-communist immigration in Bulgaria,  ALBENA TCHOLAKOVA

The political, economic and social transformations which occurred after the fall of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), made visible the problematic of migration dynamics in the region. Like other countries of CEE and Southern Europe, Bulgaria becomes a country of immigration. This article analyzes the refugees in Bulgaria as a relatively recent, but very specific form of immigration. They differ from the classic figures of traditional migrants and often from the classic refugee figure in Western countries, thereby translating the peculiarity of the Bulgarian context. Three refugees’ ideal- type figures will be approached concerning their positions in the Bulgarian labour market. The specific societal context and the particular plasticity of the labour market draw specific professional careers and identity forms of „East European“ reconfiguration.

Returns

The impossible citizenship: the case of Macedonians, refugees from the Greek Civil War in the Republic of Macedonia, MILADINA MONOVA

The paper proposes an anthropological approach on conflicting citizenship practices and representations between two countries from the South-eastern Europe (Greece and the Republic of Macedonia) belonging during half a century to two different sides of the Iron curtain. Through the case of Macedonians, former refugees from the Greek civil war, the author explores the processes of exclusion and inclusion, political and juridical practices relating to their integration: from being “stateless persons” without citizenship to Yugoslav Macedonian citizens and now citizens of the  independent Macedonian state. Today, we observe how people attempt to negotiate their “civil status” in identity documents in the ultimate aspiration to pass the Greek border and to visit their lost home villages.

Bulgarian return migration, ALEXANDER MALEEV

The ongoing structural change in the post- socialist countries of South Eastern Europe has concealed many aspects of their dynamic migration tendencies. This article is concerned with the Bulgarian case, where mass emigration since 1989 has led to substantial demographic, social and economic problems.Bulgaria’s EU- accession might represent a turning point within the migration experience of the last 20 years: the national emigration potential seems to be currently decreasing, while the number of returnees has been on the rise. The attempt of stimulating return migration as part of a future migration policy makes the lack of reliable data on the topic even more problematic. The heterogeneity of returnees and their migration contexts have led to contrasting migration experiences and reasons for return. Considering the probability of further mobility among returnees, we are about to discover new forms of transnational physical and social mobility within an enlarged EU.

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