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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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South-East European Migration Transitions: from Emigration to Immigration?


Migration patterns in the south-east European region (SEE) have been characterized by multiple changes in recent decades, both in intensity as well as in the direction of flows. This chapter addresses how (mainly labour-related) migratory processes in 12 SEE countries have evolved during the last 60 years. As a central basis, the “model of migration cycles”, which describes the transition from countries of emigration to countries of immigration by various stages, is employed. Building upon an analysis of historical and recent socio-economic developments data, the authors suggest that there are convincing reasons to assume that some SEE countries may undergo such a transition – despite dwindling population, low fertility and ongoing emigration. Future labour shortages, along with pursuing internationalization and prospectively recovering economic conditions, might foster profound demographic changes: the development from a “demographic hinterland” to countries themselves attracting immigration may thus determine the future of some SEE countries.

Keywords: international migration, demography, labour market, South-East Europe, migration transitions, net migration.


In recent decades, demographic dynamics in South-East Europe (SEE) have been characterized by profound changes.1 Composed of European Union (EU) member state countries and potential or actual EU candidate countries, the region has evolved into an interdependent and heterogeneous area, particularly as regards migration. Due to a relatively young population, high unemployment and a significant, continuing wage gap ← 199 | 200 → compared to Western European countries, most of the countries are emigration countries today. However, the size and the dynamics of outmigration...

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