Albanian migration and development: State of the art review

Type Working Paper - IMISCOE Working Paper No. 18
Title Albanian migration and development: State of the art review
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
This paper documents Albanian migration1 and its contribution to development through a review of the existing literature. The account is by no means exhaustive,\nparticularly since the data for the pre-1945 period are limited. However, the purpose of the review is not only to analyse and explain various elements of the\nmigrations, but also to highlight the importance of their historical (dis)continuities. This paper, being an original account, aspires to be a ‘state of the art’ on Albanian migrations, in the sense that it presents the most complete review of Albanian migration available to date, including substantial reference to Albanian-language sources. In addition, both international and internal migration are analysed together; previous accounts have described them as separate phenomena. The links between these two migrations have become more the rule than the exception in the Albanian context and their analysis needs therefore an integrated approach. Finally, the analysis is enriched by the author’s own direct knowledge and experience of the phenomena under study; she ‘lived through’ and had her own experience of Albanian emigration throughout the post-1990 years, and hence is able to nuance her analysis with this ‘insider’ knowledge.\n\nThe paper starts with a brief background account of the country, in order to situate the understanding of Albanian migration on a wider geo-political platform; these elements are also present throughout the account. It then continues with a historical perspective on early Albanian international and internal migration until 1945. This is followed by a discussion of both these types of migration during the communist rule: 1945-1990. Contemporary international and internal migration are then discussed: this section is structured around migration statistics, typologies and patterns, as well as destinations, migrants’ profiles, their lives and experiences. In a subsequent section elements of these two types of migration are pulled together to analyse their links, dynamics and impacts with regard to development in Albania. In a final section the literature related to return migration is reviewed. The paper closes with some insights into the changing dynamics of Albanian migration and development through the diaspora and transnational activities.\n

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