A Comparative Approach on Migration in Post-Communist Societies; The Case of Albania in East-European Context

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:30 PM
Room: Booth 51
Oral Presentation
Leke SOKOLI , of Sociology, University Aleksander Moisu of Durres, Durres, Albania
The post-communist transformations in Central and Eastern Europe represent an interesting example for comparative studies: a number of countries began this transformation from the same starting point (1989), following more or less the same common goal of moving towards democracy and liberal market economy, and EU. Based on the comparative method Brzezinski predicted twenty years ago (as it was later confirmed with surprising accuracy), the historical calendar of those countries (the article "The Great Transformation” 1993), given an example of ‘thinking comparatively’ and foreseeing the future.

This paper is regarded with the hypothesis: Albania is an excellent laboratory for studying comparatively the new migratory process. The collapse of the socialist system was viewed with concern by many policy-makers in Western Europe who expected their affluent countries to be flooded by immigrants. Yet, this fear did not materialize and post-communist East-West migration was rather moderate. The only exception is Albania, whose emigration displayed features of an exodus. No other country has been so affected by migration, in such a short period of time like Albania has. It is confirmed that 34.2 percent of the Albanians have immigrated in more than 30 other countries, while the world migrant average is about 2.7 percent. And including the migrants that have spent a considerable lengths of time abroad, and have made their return back to the country, than we have a country in which more than half the population has experienced migration in the last two decades. This paper is an attempt to give a comparative answer to the question: “Why so many Albanians have migrated in such a short time, quite different from the other ex-communist countries, i.e. the countries with the same historical fortune?” In Albania, quite different from other countries, migration is shaping the society…