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Migration in the Southern Balkans

From Ottoman Territory to Globalized Nation States

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2015

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  • This open access book collects ten essays that look at intra-regional migration in the Southern Balkans from the late Ottoman period to the present
  • Features a cross-cultural, comparative approach that highlights aspects of cultural history
  • Presents contemporary migration against the background of historical developments of the last two centuries
  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: IMISCOE Research Series (IMIS)

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Table of contents (10 chapters)


About this book

This open access book collects ten essays that look at intra-regional migration in the Southern Balkans from the late Ottoman period to the present. It examines forced as well as voluntary migrations and places these movements within their historical context, including ethnic cleansing, population exchanges, and demographic engineering in the service of nation-building as well as more recent labor migration due to globalization.

Inside, readers will find the work of international experts that cuts across national and disciplinary lines. This cross-cultural, comparative approach fully captures the complexity of this highly fractured, yet interconnected, region.

Coverage explores the role of population exchanges in the process of nation-building and irredentist policies in interwar Bulgaria, the story of Thracian refugees and their organizations in Bulgaria, the changing waves of migration from the Balkans to Turkey, Albanian immigrants in Greece, and the diminished importance of ethnic migration after the 1990s. In addition, the collection looks at such under-researched aspects of migration as memory, gender, and religion.

The field of migration studies in the Southern Balkans is still fragmented along national and disciplinary lines. Moreover, the study of forced and voluntary migrations is often separate with few interconnections. The essays collected in this book bring these different traditions together. This complete portrait will help readers gain deep insight and better understanding into the diverse migration flows and intercultural exchanges that have occurred in the Southern Balkans in the last two centuries.


“The book is an excellent contribution to migration studies and Bal­kan studies. Given that it is an open access book, the reviewer’s hope is enhanced that this impressive collection will receive its duly broad readership.” (Cengiz Haksöz, Südosteuropa Journal of Politics and Society, Vol. 66 (4), December, 2018)

A welcome addition to the migration scholarship on this little-known, fragmented but globally important region. Taken together, the contributions offer a rich blend of history, politics, sociology and anthropology, alongside studies of memory, mobility and ethno-linguistic identity.

Russell King, University of Sussex and Malmö University

This well researched volume is awelcomed addition to our understanding of cross border migration over time in the southern Balkan region. The focus on the transformation of social identities is a testimony to the long term historical processes that underpin large scale population displacements which are far richer than mere ‘migration crises’.


Eftihia Voutira, Professor, Anthropology of Forced Migration, Department of Balkan Slavic and Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki

Migration is a ubiquitous phenomenon in the modern world. This thoughtful book studies migration patterns and intercultural exchanges within the transnational region of the Southern Balkans against a deep historical background, offering fresh and alternative readings of the past two centuries. From the final decades of the multicultural Ottoman Empire, through the homogenizing efforts of several nation states, to new forms of ethnic and cultural diversity imposed through globalized networks, this importantcollection of original essays successfully brings together two separate fields within migration studies, those of forced and voluntary migrations. A genuinely transnational volume, both in its scholarly approach and the makeup of its contributors.

Maria Todorova, Gutgsell Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Editors and Affiliations

  • Emeritus professor University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Hans Vermeulen

  • Former Director, Mediterranean Migration Observatory, Athens, Greece

    Martin Baldwin-Edwards

  • History, Archeology and Soc. Anthropolog, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

    Riki van Boeschoten

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Migration in the Southern Balkans

  • Book Subtitle: From Ottoman Territory to Globalized Nation States

  • Editors: Hans Vermeulen, Martin Baldwin-Edwards, Riki van Boeschoten

  • Series Title: IMISCOE Research Series

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2015

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-13718-6Published: 11 June 2015

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-36636-4Published: 22 October 2016

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-13719-3Published: 01 June 2015

  • Series ISSN: 2364-4087

  • Series E-ISSN: 2364-4095

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XI, 211

  • Number of Illustrations: 5 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Migration, History, general, Cities, Countries, Regions, Demography

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