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Societies and Spaces in Contact

Between Convergence and Divergence

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Edited By Milan Bufon, Tove H. Malloy and Colin Williams

This volume represents an inter-disciplinary discussion of some fundamental categories of convergence and divergence, focusing in particular on issues of both social integration and devolution related to ethnos as the space of identity, and demos as the space of polity. The aims of the book are to assess past developments within crucial parts of Central Europe where both conflict and coexistence potentials seem to best represent the actual “unity in diversity” managing dilemma in the continent; to provide an analysis of current approaches to minority protection, language planning, spatial and social cross-border and inter-cultural policies; and to develop an evaluation of the future trends and opportunities for co-operation and re-integration within a local and broader operational context.

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“It Is Not Too Bad in Slovenia, but It Could Be Much Better:” Inclusion of Asylum Seekers and Refugees at the Borders of Europe (Asja Pehar Senekovič and Jure Gombač)

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Asja Pehar Senekovič and Jure Gombač

For Slovenia, one of the former Yugoslav republics, an obedient and enthusiastic EU member (with 89.61 % of voters voting to join the EU in 2003), Schengen gatekeeper and eager supporter and facilitator of the EU border regime, especially its externalization in North Macedonia and Bosnia and Hercegovina, the “long summer of migrations of 2015–2016” (Kasparek 2016, p. 5) and the so called ‘Balkan route’ became a harsh wake up call. The nationalistic ideology about Slovenian society as a successful but closed, homogeneous and unattractive final destination for people on the move, as supported by problematic political ‘solutions’ such as bilateral agreements with Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which legalized ‘push backs’ of people on the move “back to where they came from,” lost both power and meaning when more than half a million people contested the Slovenian and EU border regime and negotiated their way across the state on their way to Austria and other Western Europe countries during the so-called “crisis of the EU border regime” (Hess 2016).

It was this situation that forced Slovenian politics to resolve what was identified as two major questions: first, how to organize the transport of people on the move in a way that as few as possible would stay in Slovenia, which was achieved with the help of the so-called “humanitarian corridor” (Petrovčić 2016) and anti-migration political, media and public discourses (Vezovnik 2017); and secondly, how to deal with...

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