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Diversity of Migration in South-East Europe


Edited By Mirjam Zbinden, Janine Dahinden and Adnan Efendic

This interdisciplinary volume gathers recent work related to the diverse migratory movements in South-East Europe. The contributions address current aspects of emigration, immigration, transit migration and return from different disciplinary vantage points. They impressively demonstrate that South-East Europe is a highly dynamic migration region marked by a multiplicity of migration-related processes fuelled by global and especially European developments.

«This edited book presents an illuminating and stimulating range of essays on a key European and global region which has experienced an extraordinary diversity of migration types and regimes in recent decades. Employing an innovative range of methodologies, the contributions show that South-East Europe is no longer to be seen as a ‘problematic’ space of emigration and transit but as a theatre for highly dynamic mobility phenomena.» (Russell King, Professor of Geography, University of Sussex)

«This thought-provoking book makes an important contribution to understanding migration processes from, within and through South-East Europe. The innovative research approach and new insights about diversity of human mobility in the region described in the book will resonate with scholars, policymakers and broader readership within and beyond the region.» (Hariz Halilovich, Associate Professor of Anthropology, RMIT University, Melbourne)

«The thorough theoretical and empirical contributions of this volume reveal South-East Europe as a highly diversified European space of complex migration regimes and processes beyond the image of the "troubled", "ethno-national" Balkans. This timely book impressively shows how good scholarship both critically re-assesses knowledge production and points to inequalities and hierarchies on different scales.» (Jelena Tosic, Researcher and lecturer in Social Anthropology, Universities of Vienna and Berne)

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Return Migration in the Shkodra Region – What’s the Next Step?


Migration in Albania has entered a new era. Return migration is a recent phenomenon. This chapter deals with some aspects of return migration in the Shkodra region.

Through in-depth interviews with return migrants the chapter answers the following questions: “Why did migrants decide to resettle in their country of origin?” “What mechanisms have they used and what difficulties are they facing during their reintegration?” “What are their expectations for the future, living in Albania or remigrating?”

The chapter shows that the majority of returnees have returned because of the financial crisis in the main destination countries of Albanian migration – Greece and Italy – but the motivations for returning are complex and influenced by other factors too. Their plans for the future vary depending on their previous activities, the success of reintegrating back home, and the economic, social and political context of Albania. I elaborate on typologies showing the main differences for each of these aspects. The chapter concludes that when the economic, political, and social conditions in Albania are still unstable, most of the returnees lead a life between two countries and are in a dilemma about their future – whether to stay or remigrate.

Keywords: return migration, motivations, reintegration, expectations, Shkodra region


Return migration is a well-established tradition in the Balkans and is especially evident in Albania. This form of migration is used as a strategy: the aim is to go abroad, return with some money, and try...

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