• The Political Economy of Diaspora Capitalism, diaspora formations and some notes on Bosnia and Herzegovina

    This paper discusses connections between migration related phenomena and he dynamic of international capitalism. The discussion follows the broader argument concerning the historical and world systemic nature of capitalism. By analysing the phenomena of diaspora, it seeks to contribute to the analysis of the relationships of migration and the international developments in inequality, impoverishment and environmental transition engineered by operations of contemporary capitalism. The analysis explores the ways in which uneven capitalist development influences diaspora formation but also shows how diaspora formations involve particular and complex social-political relationships, based on which the internationality of capitalism is sustained. The case of Bosnia and Herzegovina is used as an attempt to map this broad argument over a particular cases indicative of these process in the 21st century.

  • Expectations Vis-A-Vis Exclusion: Young educated Roma and labour markets in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Since the launch of the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005–2015 (hereafter: Roma Decade), all around Central and Southeastern Europe, governments have initiated strategies and measures aiming at the improvement of the Roma situation in four key thematic areas: education, employment, health care and housing. The situation of many Roma, however, remains precarious, with entire segments of Roma population remaining poor, uneducated, unemployed and ghettoised. As monitoring and evaluations are largely lacking, especially when it comes to governmental projects, there are no clear indications of success in the implementation of employment-related measures. Successes appear to be few, and by far overshadowed by large numbers of Roma in need of (formal) employment. Governmental measures affect low numbers of Roma, and significantly fail to address the needs of certain subgroups within the Roma population, such as highly educated young Roma.

    This shortcoming is particularly emphasized in the broader context of improving education levels among young Roma generations. Numerous education projects and scholarship programmes have increased the numbers of young Roma in high schools and universities. At this moment, there are already generations of fresh Romani graduates, with their numbers increasing by the year, whose tertiary ducation has been strongly affected by affirmative action measures. The problem, however, is the lack of opportunities awaiting these young Roma. In shrinking labour markets, there is already a scarcity of jobs. Roma, in addition, are faced by potential racial discrimination by employers. Furthermore, for those young graduates who manage to find their place on the labour market, their positions are in many cases relating thematically to Roma issues, and the instances of young educated Roma employed in professional positions that are unconnected to the Roma sphere is not common.

    For these reasons, this research paper addresses the position of young educated Roma in the labour markets of two neighbouring countries: Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The paper analyses relevant public policies in both countries, juxtaposes them to the expectations and actual experiences of young educated Roma in search of employment, and ends with a set of proposals on how the current situation could be improved.

    This paper is a result of a research project developed within the Vienna-based ERSTE Foundation’s Fellowship for Social Research, and hosted by the Ecumenical Humanitarian Organization (EHO), a non-governmental organization based in Novi Sad, Serbia. The author would like to express her gratitude to both organizations for allowing her to conduct research on this topic. The author would also like to thank all young Romani students and professionals from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as representatives of institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who kindly agreed to be interviewed and shared their views and experiences. Their cooperation and support is very much appreciated.

    This paper can be accessed on demand, please contact the fellow directly.

  • Exploring VET policy and its influence on unemployment rate in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Croatia

    After the 2008 crisis the focus of the European Union education policy on the Vocational education and training measures erupted. It is understood that the structural changes associated with transition have been unfavourable for unskilled workers who have lost employment disproportionately as the skill content of blue collar work has increased due to skill-biased technological change (Commander and Kollo, 2004). In the light of these developments, this paper explores the VET systems of two countries: Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    The paper examine institutional framework for vocational education at the national level and on local level and points at the deficits of the VET systems at place and their historical heritage in the Ex Yugoslav educational system. The paper will explore how countries address drop out rate problems, organise selection and mobility into the vocational schools and provide practical training and apprenticeships and their connection to employability. Finally, the paper provides recommendations for each of stakeholder groups for improvement of the VET system and its role in improvement of connection between VET education and labour market in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • Bosnian Austrians: Accidental Migrants in Trans-Local and Cyber Spaces

    This paper explores the realities of three groups of Bosnian immigrants in Austria whose migration, at least initially, started as a forced displacement during the 1990s. It describes how their social networks, level of education, professional skills, life experiences and embodied bi-culturalism are utilised in strengthening social cohesion and intergenerational solidarity in relation to Austria and to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The paper attempts to challenge the established methodological and theoretical orthodoxies in migration studies and to deconstruct the myth about refugees as a ‘societal burden’ subject to charity and lacking human and social capital. It argues that any strict division between different migration categories (like economic migration, skilled migration, family reunion, temporary and forced migration) and paradigms (like trans-nationalism or the brain-drain versus brain-gain concept) will miss addressing the multiplicity of ever-changing relationships, meanings and opportunities likely created by any migration.

    It is reductionist to refer to some standardised ‘refugee pattern’; people who experience forced displacement, like any other migrant groups, do not remain in a stage of permanent liminality. Their ‘migration’ into new identities, even if these identities are only transitory – from refugees to migrants to citizens of new countries or to returnees – is often founded on the remnants of their earlier place-based identities and locally embedded social networks. Such communities are not only socially (re-)constructed at the points of migration, but also increasingly (re)imagined and (re)imaged beyond real space, in the realm of cyber space.

  • A Two-Way Ticket: Return Migration of Tertiary (Post) Graduates as a Potential Channel of the Brain-Gain Process in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Higher education’s international dimension has emphasised circulation of scientists, professionals and scholars around the globe. This process has encouragingly positive results, but much confusion exists about return migration of highly educated persons who acquired advanced competences overseas. When compared with strong evidence of the brain-drain phenomenon, the return process simply became marginalised. Therefore, this study explains characteristics of the return migration as a potential channel of the brain-gain process with a focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    This paper focuses on the mobility of tertiary (post)graduates, all of whom pursued higher education abroad during the early professional career stage and have returned home upon completion of their advanced degrees. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to analyse patterns, size and outcomes of highly educated returnees and their impact on social, labour and country development. The study provides conclusions on recognising the value of a returnees’ qualifications, their professional status, integration in the domestic labour market, advanced knowledge and skills transfers as well as their acceptance from the government and academic institutions.

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