Balkans and Baltics: on migration as a factor of regional peripheralization

2018-10-29T16:25:24Z (GMT) by Aija Lulle
This paper proposes a critical comparative reflection on migration as a factor of peripheralization processes in the Western Balkan and Baltic regions. In their respective geographical positions, the Western Balkans and the Baltics stand at different ends of the European map: south-east and north-east. Regarding their historical and political positions, however, these are very diverse: the Western Balkans were part of Yugoslavia (except Albania) while the Baltic republics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) were annexed to the Soviet Union after the Second World War. Currently, Croatia is already a member of the European Union, as the three Baltic countries are, while the rest of the Western Balkans are not. The article argues that apart from economic and geographical factors, usually taken into account in describing peripheries and cores, migration processes and discourses powerfully construct some places as dynamically moving towards a ‘core’ while others remain confined to a ‘periphery’. By paying special attention to ‘scientific discourses’, the aim is to broaden our understanding of theories and practices of peripheralization, where migration tends to be under-theorized.