No. 31 - 05/2021:
Migration and Mobilities within the Yugosphere: Migration Patterns From, and Within the Former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

edited by Sandra King-Savić


Editorial by Sandra King-Savić
The Western Balkan Migration Route and the Online Media Coverage of the Citizens’ Protests by Dragana Kovačević Bielicki

This paper is focused on the online media coverage of the organized anti– migrant protests in three transit countries along the Western Balkan migration route: Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter BH), in the period between the beginning of 2015 and end of 2019. The aim of this small–scale research was to first map and consequently explain the online media coverage of the perceivably anti–migrant protests in the selected area, starting from the beginning of the so–called migrant crisis. The research shows a predominantly negative, alarmist portrayal of the migrants characterized by both overt and covert racist and Orientalizing modes of presentation.

Hidden labor: Albanian migration in late-socialist Croatia by Rory Archer

This article explores the phenomenon of intra-Yugoslav Albanian migration to Croatia during late socialism. By the 1970s and 1980s Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia were among the most prominent labor migrants to the northwest of the country. Most Albanian migrants were engaged in private business which while legal, was anathema according to Yugoslav socialist modernity and meant that their activities took place largely without the supervision of the party-state. Albanians were viewed by the Croatian authorities as a potential security threat because of political stirrings in Kosovo in the 1980s. Furthermore they encountered prejudice from the population in the areas to which they moved. The Croatian archival documents referred to in this text depict Albanians as simultaneously being of great economic means (buying large houses and business spaces through family networks, funded by smuggling and other illicit activities) but also as socially marginal (undertaking poorly paid physical labor and informal jobs due to economic necessity). By the end of socialism the political interests of Albanians in Croatia and Croatians themselves began to align however. The research is supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project “To the Northwest! Intra-Yugoslav Albanian migration (1953-1989)” (grant number P 32345).

South-East European Munich: Displaced Persons – Guest Workers– Europeans by Karolina Novinšćak Kölker

Since the end of the Second World War several groups of migrants from former Yugoslavia came to Munich, most of them as so called Gastarbeiter (guest workers) starting in the late 1960s. After the ban on recruitment of foreign workers (Anwerbestopp), emphasis was placed on reuniting families, while the Yugoslav wars of secession led to the migration of refugees to Munich. For many decades, immigration was considered a temporary phenomenon. Not until Slovenia and Croatia joined the EU have new immigrants from these countries been given the prospect of permanent residence from the start and means of political participation in elections in Munich.

Reframing Integration from the Perspective of those who Experienced Migration: An Ethnography with former Labor Migrants and Refugees from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) by Sandra King-Savić

The following essay is an explorative text that forms a piece of a larger project I carry out at the University of St. Gallen. Under the title “Learning about Integration from those who Experienced Migration: An Emic Perspective of Mobility Based on the Perspective of Labor Migrants and Refugees from former Yugoslavia in Switzerland”, I seek to learn about migration and integration from those who practice(d) it. By exploring mobility within an aspirations- capabilities frame,1 I aspire to build on knowledge production2 so as to expand existing scholarship on the de-homogenization and de-ethnization of migrants in migration studies.3 In what follows, three vignettes will illustrate preliminary findings related to the blurred lines between artificially created migrant categories, and the migration-integration-belonging nexus.

On the nationalism of the gastarbajteri by Mišo Kapetanović

The article explores approaches to identities and politics of the (post) Yugoslav labor migrants in the German-speaking countries. I am interested in stereotypical media portrayals of gastarbajteri (Gastarbeiter – guest workers) as inherently nationalist and frequently chauvinist political groups. This relationship can be explained through the Yugoslav state’s politics towards gastarbajteri and labor migrants’ involvement with nationalist politics during and after the Yugoslav dissolution. The socialist state was heavily invested in the support, protection, and ideological control of labor migrants. During and after the Yugoslav dissolution, the successor states made a radical shift toward ethnically defined diaspora politics, through which they fund research concerning their citizens abroad. This trend projected ethnic politics onto labor migrants. The result of the shift is continuous reporting on post-Yugoslav guest workers, by both academics and media, as identity-based groups abroad fighting to preserve their heritage, and often hard-core nationalist politics. I challenge this portrayal by insisting on a substantial difference between formal and informal levels. The article identifies this blind spot by addressing the relationship between class and ethnicity of the labor migrants in the theoretical contributions of academics from receiving and sending societies. Can post- Yugoslav labor migration be understood through ethno-politics, or do informal social structures built during Yugoslavia remain relevant to an extent? The labor migrants may be identifying primary ethnically but have ways of interacting and relating to the other post-Yugoslavs that involve sophisticated strategies of inclusion/exclusion across the new ethnically defined borders.


Full text of issue

Euxeinos 31

Migration and Mobilities within the Yugosphere: Migration Patterns From, and Within the Former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia edited by Sandra King-Savić