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Albania on the Move

Albania on the Move: Links between Internal and International Migration

Julie Vullnetari
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Albania on the Move
    Book Description:

    Starting from a cluster of villages in southeast Albania, Albanian-born British scholar Julie Vullnetari follows rural migrants to domestic urban destinations such as Tirana and abroad to Thessaloniki in Greece. Vullnetari has conducted more than 150 interviews, and drawing upon this rich empirical material, she offers a profound account of Albanian migration from start to finish. A rare, exhaustive overview of Albania's post-communist internal and international migrations,Albania on the Moveis a powerful combination of ethnography and multifaceted academic analysis, grounded in the personal experience of the author.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1493-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-6)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 7-8)
  3. List of tables, figures and photos
    (pp. 9-10)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. 11-12)
  5. Preface
    (pp. 13-14)
  6. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 15-34)

    Nearly twenty years ago, on a brisk spring morning, with just a bag of personal belongings, I said goodbye to my family and left my village in south-east Albania to step into the foreign world of ‘the abroad’. I was the first woman since the fall of communism in Albania to leave my village to work abroad. It was to be the start of a new life and, at eighteen years old, I felt like I was embarking on the greatest adventure of my life: full of uncertainties of the unknown and the joys and dreams of the desired. My...

  7. 2 The migration-development nexus
    (pp. 35-58)

    Discussions about the ways migration and development are linked together and affect one another have been going on for half a century now, with the pendulum swinging back and forth on whether migration is positive or negative for development. The two key questions in this debate have revolved around the issue of whether migration is a product of development and underdevelopment, or is itself a cause of them. International migration has, by far, taken centre stage in this discussion, although internal movements are just as – if, at times, not more – essential to aspects of development such as poverty...

  8. 3 Albanian migration and development
    (pp. 59-106)

    Although Albania’s borders were sealed off for nearly half a century during the communist period, migration from Albania was not without historical precedent: Albanians had migrated far and wide for centuries. However, the post-communist migration had specific features which make it one of the most noteworthy flows in the world. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of these migrations – both international and internal – and the ways they have been linked to development. To set the post-communist flows into perspective, I start with a brief historical account divided into two periods – migration until 1945...

  9. 4 Leaving home: Migration patterns and dynamics
    (pp. 107-144)

    This is the first in a sequence of four results chapters, which discuss internal and international migration in the Albanian context, the relationship between the two and their combined impact on development in Albania. The chapters are based on empirical material collected in the course of my DPhil fieldwork. The aim of the present chapter is to map the patterns of international and internal migration emanating from the migrants’ area of origin in rural south-east Albania, including their various features and interlinked sequencing. The differences between these two migration types are analysed in terms of migrants’ profiles, migration regimes, geographical...

  10. 5 Across the border: Migrants in Thessaloniki
    (pp. 145-164)

    After having discussed the various migration types and strategies from the villages of origin in Albania, I now ‘move’ across the border to examine in more detail migrants’ life trajectories in the Greek city of Thessaloniki. I start by discussing some of their experiences as they left their villages in Albania and arrived in Greece. The discussion that follows focuses on some of the strategies my respondents used to integrate into the socioeconomic life in the city, including negotiations of gender, ethnicity and religion. Furthermore, issues of immigration regulations are analysed, running as they do like a thread throughout the...

  11. 6 Family, migration and socio-economic change
    (pp. 165-194)

    After the last chapter’s sojourn in Thessaloniki, I now come back to Albania to examine the impacts that international and internal migration have had here. I start by analysing the resulting socio-economic transformations at the micro-level, i.e. how individual migrants and their families have been affected by migration over the past two decades. I open with a discussion of the effects that money sent by migrants abroad and internally has had on their families, but also others around them. I then continue with an analysis of various aspects of social remittances. This is followed by an examination of the gender...

  12. 7 Migration and Albania’s dynamic transformation
    (pp. 195-232)

    This chapter discusses the combined impact of international and internal migration on Albanian development at the meso- and macro-levels. I first examine how the villages of origin and the areas of destination in Tirana and Korçë have been transformed by migration. Then, I enlarge the analysis to encompass issues at a national level, including secondary data from various published reports and opinions expressed by key informants and national experts on issues of development and migration. The analysis at each of these two levels includes three major dimensions that reflect the links between migration and development: the economic – related to...

  13. 8 Conclusions and recommendations
    (pp. 233-244)

    Having ended the previous chapter on a highly critical note for policymaking, I now step back and broaden my gaze to encompass the totality of my research findings in order to review and re-evaluate them against the aims I set for myself at the beginning of the book. I first revisit the interlinkages between internal and international migration and the impact of these dynamics on the development process in Albania. In so doing, I draw attention to some policy recommendations flowing from this discussion. I then highlight the limitations and strengths of my work, including its theoretical contribution, before closing...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 245-256)
  15. References
    (pp. 257-276)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 277-283)