Projects / Programmes source: ARIS


Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.11.02  Social sciences  Ethnic studies  Ethnic studies - humanistic aspect 

Code Science Field
H270  Humanities  Social and economic history 

Code Science Field
5.09  Social Sciences  Other social sciences 
Slovene emigrants, employment-related migration, the Western Balkans, transnational migration, lifestyles
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  04926  PhD Marjan Drnovšek  Historiography  Head  2011 - 2014  585 
2.  32773  Mateja Gliha  Humanities  Technical associate  2011 - 2014 
3.  20685  PhD Jure Gombač  Ethnic studies  Researcher  2011 - 2014  372 
4.  20195  PhD Damir Josipovič  Geography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  318 
5.  31775  MSc Metka Lokar  Literary sciences  Researcher  2011 - 2013  166 
6.  11240  PhD Marinka Lukšič-Hacin  Ethnic studies  Researcher  2011 - 2014  517 
7.  29360  PhD Mojca Vah Jevšnik  Ethnic studies  Researcher  2011 - 2014  162 
8.  32551  Marijanca Ajša Vižintin  Linguistics  Researcher  2013 - 2014  651 
9.  05801  PhD Janja Žitnik Serafin  Literary sciences  Researcher  2011 - 2014  373 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0507  Institute for Ethnic Studies  Ljubljana  5051517000  4,860 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  61,885 
In the project we will study the dynamics of employment-related migration from Slovenia to the countries of former Yugoslavia from the nineteenth century to the present and define the types of employment taken by Slovenes. The criteria for defining and framing the basic (titular) categories, i.e. settler and transmigrant, are in the domain of individual theories. Our key framing criterion will be the changes that appear through identity politics and lifestyles. The research will first focus on an analysis of the socio-economic and political dynamics of employment-related migration of Slovenes to the region concerned (from the 19th century on) and their influence on intercultural relations from a historical perspective, with an emphasis on newer employment-related and/or transmigrational lifestyles. Lifestyle is a compound variable which is multiply defined through six variables, which we will observe in the research using various qualitative and quantitative methods. These variables are: employment dynamics and work organisation; family dynamics, upbringing and education; leisure time activities; contacts with the homeland and attitude towards ethnic/national identities and cultural heritage; the establishment of social networks (in the immigrant country and in Slovenia); and contacts with the immigrant environment and multicultural (intercultural) relations. Slovenia’s independence (1991) will represent the border between the past and the present. Using the existing theoretical frameworks of transnationalism we will verify whether Slovene migrants underwent a fundamental shift from ‘settler’ to “transmigrant’ practices and describe the relevance of such findings for the Slovenian economy and politics. The research is distinctly interdisciplinary, from which also follows the selection of the methods, which are quantitative (demographic analyses) and qualitative (analysis of archive materials, content analysis, in-depth interviews and focus groups). The research foresees fieldwork and obtaining informants using the snowball principle. The research objectives are:1. Analysis of the dynamics of the employment of Slovenes in the countries of former Yugoslavia from the diachronic and synchronic perspectives through demographic, occupational and (inter)cultural dynamics. 2. Analysis of the economic activities of Slovenes in the Western Balkans. 3. Production of a study of transnational lifestyles and identities that could be used as a basis for strategies for training transmigrants before their departure abroad and for the requirements of any potential (Slovene) ethnic entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans. 4. Studying the effect of changes in the lifestyles of Slovene emigrants on the preservation of ethnic/cultural heritage from a historical perspective. 5. Creation of a historical synthesis and/or comprehensive study of Slovene emigrants and their descendants in the territory of the Western Balkans from the 19th century to 1991. Results: organisation of working round-tables (at least three); publication of academic debates; creation of study on transnational lifestyles among Slovenes and their experiences of interculturality; an academic monograph about Slovenes in the countries of the Western Balkans. Originality: The results are original since there is a noticeable lack of studies about Slovenes in the area of former Yugoslavia, and those that do exist are noticeably partial. Similarly, there is a lack of studies of employment-related migration, particularly about transmigrants (diplomacy, international humanitarian activities, peacekeeping missions, journalism, transnational economics etc.). Utility: The results will be socially and politically relevant and will have a potential influence on various strategies that the Slovenian government will have to establish with regard to the territory concerned in the near future (Slovenia does not yet have any comprehensive bilateral and multilateral strategies towards this region).
Significance for science
Migration is currently at the very centre of scientific debates in Europe, and is one of the strategic priorities of the EU foreign policy. This is also demonstrated by the numerous academic initiatives that the European Commission has recently launched. The European Union is currently also considering expanding to the countries of the Western Balkans, which will create several challenges in the field of migration, especially labour migration, as has occurred in the past when the EU has expanded. The project was focused on Slovenian labour migrants who have connected Slovenia with other parts of the former federal state of Yugoslavia throughout history and continue to do so today in a transnational social field through a wide range of different transnational activities. The results are also important for further study of migration – particularly at the borders of the European Union – as we have tested a relatively new concept of transnationalism and transnational social fields in practice over a longer time period and in an area which has undergone numerous changes, through focusing on labour migration. Equally significant for the development of migration studies is the project's emphasis on the humanities aspect of migration research which, particularly in Slovenia, has been largely marginalized, especially in terms of financial support from public funds. The central project result, a comprehensive academic monograph that constitutes the first integral humanistic study on Slovenian emigrants and their descendants in all other parts of the former Yugoslavia from the 19th century until today, covers a distinct white spot in the knowledge concerning Slovenian labour (and other) migration to the so-called Yugoslav area, and the activities of the Slovenians living there aimed at preserving their language and cultural heritage as well as transferring their cultural traditions and values to younger generations. The project findings will be included in the university curriculum in the subject Culture of Regions and Border Areas at the School of Humanities of the University of Nova Gorica and the curriculum of the European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations, an international Master’s programme that arose as the result of cooperation between European and African university institutions, which is also offered at the University of Nova Gorica via the Internet and intensive programmes. In this way, students from all over the world (the programme has the Erasmus Mundus status) will learn about migration issues, particularly transnationalism, ethnic economies, Slovenian emigration and Balkan Studies, and recognise these topics as important issues associated with migration.
Significance for the country
The importance of the project for the development of Slovenia is manifold. Entrepreneurship and economic development was approached within the framework of transnationalism, economic diplomacy and ethnic entrepreneurship, as we cooperated with emigrant societies, entrepreneur clubs, consulates and embassies to organise meetings and round tables. The rationale behind these gatherings was to create networks between Slovenian entrepreneurs and emigrants. Significant potential lies in such networking and a variety of possibilities are yet to be explored. Although members of the Slovenian diaspora in the Yugoslavian space have been in contact before, further networking was encouraged at the organised meetings and round tables where the local and regional societies, individuals, and societies across states strengthened their cooperation. In addition, cooperation was strengthened between the Slovenian societies concerned with Slovenian emigration and immigrant societies in Slovenia. Such border-spanning, transnational cooperation in terms of culture, economy and politics is an interesting phenomenon, since it creates new transnational social fields. Their creation was manifested at round tables organised in different countries within the Yugoslavian space, joint cultural events (e.g. meeting of Slovenians from Bosnia in Slatina, Cankar days in Sarajevo, week of cultures in Novo mesto), the concluding conference for emigrant and immigrant societies and the final international academic conference. Important progress has been achieved in terms of strengthening ties between the diaspora and relevant institutions of the Republic of Slovenia, including the Office for Slovenians abroad, the Parliamentary Commission for Relations with Slovenes in Neighbouring and other Countries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, and SPIRIT Slovenia, with the support from the Municipality of Ljubljana and Krka. Project results were communicated to the wider public at radio interviews, student lectures, in newspapers, on web pages of the Slovenian Migration institute and DRPD, at round tables and a variety of other events, such as, for example, the business conference organised by the Office for Slovenian Abroad entitled »Supporting companies in entering foreign markets«. The project’s direct importance to the economy and society is clearly the finding that there are transnational social fields which link Slovenia with the other parts of former Yugoslavia via Slovene emigrants. Since Slovenia exports approximately 20% of its goods to the Western Balkans, and also invests the most there, these connections are an advantage which could be taken further advantage of for economic purposes. Slovene emigrants can through their labour, creativity, connections, entrepreneurship and contacts in the host countries create favourable momentum for Slovenian companies and everyone who is thinking about entering this field. At this moment in time, this could be an extremely important niche for the Slovenian economy. Furthermore, it is an opportunity for emigrants to take advantage of the opportunities that arise. We will keep state institutions continuously informed about the interim and final results of the project, such as the Steering Committee for the Western Balkans at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, The Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia, the National Assembly Commission on Slovenians Abroad, the Republic of Slovenia Office for Slovenians Abroad, and companies which might wish to take advantage of connections of this sort. The guidelines and recommendations could effectively contribute to: - increased competitiveness of Slovenian companies in the region - identifying new opportunities and market niches in the Western Balkans - making connections
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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