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Chapter 1

Bosnian Migrants: An Introduction


Marko Valenta and Sabrina P. Ramet

It is estimated that there are 1.4 million Bosnians, or 38 per cent of the Bosnian population, who live outside Bosnia.1 Scores of published books and articles on the Balkan wars, ethnic cleansing and post-war political tensions discuss, directly or indirectly, migration and refugee related issues (Ramet 2002, Bieber 2006, Ramet 2006, esp. 479481, Hoare 2007). However, it seems that recent migration flows in the region, and the long term integration outcomes of Bosnian emigration, are still largely unexplored. As Marek Kupiszewski (2009: 438) recently put it, Given the magnitude of migration to and from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the dearth of literature [on this subject] is rather disappointing. The largest proportion of the Bosnian Diaspora is the result of tragic war conflicts that forced hundreds of thousands of Bosnians to leave Bosnia. Indeed, roughly 800,000 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina emigrated in just two years 19931994 (Kupiszewski 2009: 437). Almost two decades have passed since the Dayton peace agreement was signed in 1995. Even so, hundreds of thousands of Bosnian refugees still live outside their home country. In addition, out-migration continues in the post-war period. How have Bosnian refugees and migrants been incorporated in receiving societies? Do they maintain contact with their home country? What is their day-to-day life like? What may we say about their immigrant communities? We hope that contributions in this volume will answer these questions and provide a basis for cross-national comparative studies. The purpose of this volume is to provide a multidisciplinary exploration of Bosnian migrant communities, and offer updated and comprehensive insight into the situation of the Bosnian Diaspora including not only the Bosnian experience(s) in the Western countries, but also their integration experiences in neighbouring countries. Therefore, the volume includes chapters written by sociologists, social anthropologists, political scientists and demographers resident, or with background from, Australia, Austria, Bosnia, Britain, Croatia, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA. In what follows, we analyse a range of migrant experiences, and indicate common features, if any, across the Bosnian Diaspora. In this introductory chapter we provide an overview of the global geographic distribution of Bosnian
1See, Overview over situation of Bosnian emigration (Sarajevo: Bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, September 2008), at http://www.mhrr.gov.ba/iseljenistvo/ Publikacije/?id=940. [last accessed on 10 October 2010].

The Bosnian Diaspora

emigration, as well as a brief overview of various migration flows which have contributed to the growth of the Bosnian emigration community. In addition, we present relevant background information, and indicate some of the major features which are characteristic of the Bosnian migrant community. Furthermore, it is indicated how concepts of integration and transnationalism will be approached, deployed and explored by authors involved in this volume. Dynamics of Migration Outflows Although the Bosnian Diaspora is dominated by people who left the country in the 1990s, it should be mentioned that the Bosnian Diaspora can be linked to several other migration flows. For example, we can distinguish among several types of migration and migrants in the pre-war period, war period, and in postwar Bosnia. Some of these migration flows are the direct result of wars in the region, while others might be seen as a continuation of migration flows already in existence in the pre-war period. In brief, we can distinguish among three periods or stages of migration and development of the Bosnian Diaspora: the first period includes emigration from Bosnia during the time when Bosnia was a republic in the Yugoslav Federation. As Raduki (Chapter 6), and Kali and Gomba (Chapter 10) indicate during this period, thousands of Bosnians migrated to Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and the other republics in the Yugoslav Federation. Again in the same period, and particularly during the 1960s and 1970s, tens of thousands of Bosnian guest workers migrated to western European countries (especially Germany, in which about half a million Gastarbeiter from socialist Yugoslavia, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, had found work prior to the outbreak of the war (Kupiszewski 2009: 427), Canada, the USA, and Australia. The second period includes migration flows during the war-time period of 1990 1996 when hundreds of thousands Bosnians fled from the war conflict.2 This second wave can be broken down into two waves: the first in 1992, the first year of the war, and the second in 1995, following the Srebrenica massacre in July of that year. Bosnians who found refuge in Europe in early 1990s were the first refugee group to experience a temporary protection regime.3 However, most receiving countries in the EU gradually changed this temporary protection status, and allowed Bosnians to settle permanently.4 The third period may be associated with post-war migration. For example, according to the Human Development
2 See Table 1.1 in this chapter. 3 As Koser and Black (1999) point out, while certain other refugee groups have received some form of temporary protection in European countries and North America, the Bosnian refugee group was the first, and by far the largest: indeed, until the Kosovo crisis in the late 1990s, they were the only refugee group consistently received in this manner throughout the EU (Koser and Black 1999: 533). 4 See Tables 1.1 and 1.2 in this chapter for more exact numbers.

Bosnian Migrants: An Introduction

Report (United Nations, 2002) in only the first five years after the Dayton peace agreement was signed more than 90 thousand young people left Bosnia. These recent migrations include emigrations of Bosnians to neighbouring countries, EU countries and the USA.

Estimating the Size and Geographic Distribution of Bosnian Emigration In 2005, the Bosnian authorities published a report on Bosnian refugees and returnees in which an overview was provided on numbers of Bosnian refugees in different reception countries. Table 1.1 is based on this overview (See Comparative Analysis 2005). The table shows that the largest recipient countries in the 1990s were neighbouring countries Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia, while the largest recipient countries in the EU were Germany, Austria, and Sweden. However, the table not only provided a wide-ranging overview on the numbers of Bosnian refugees in different receiving countries, but also indicated some of the already mentioned dynamics in migration and the changing status of Bosnian refugees. As we can see from the table, in some receiving countries, the number of Bosnian refugees has been stable in the period 19922005, while in other receiving countries, the number declined.5 The decline in the number of Bosnian refugees can be largely explained by return migration as well as by the fact that many refugees migrated to third countries. These migrations may be linked to the dynamics of reception and repatriation regimes offered to refugees. The numbers of Bosnians remained stable in those countries offering permanent protection and settlement to Bosnian refugees. The decline in refugee numbers was evident in receiving countries which did not grant permanent settlement status to refugees from Bosnia, electing instead to return them to their native country by force. As Table 1.1 shows, 480,000 Bosnians were returned to Bosnia by 2005 while 220,000 migrated to third countries via various migration routes. As we can see from Table 1.1, there are still a half a million Bosnian refugees who are scattered around the world. We want to emphasize that the overview presented above, to the right in the table, includes only a fraction of the Bosnian Diaspora. In addition to Bosnian migrants who, at certain stage of their migrant careers, were included in official refugee statistics, there are, as already noted, thousands of Bosnians who migrated by other routes, and resettled around the world before, during and after the war in Bosnia.

5 We want to emphasize that the numbers in Table 1.1 are not wholly reliable due to different statistical definitions of refugees. Furthermore, it seems that some numbers include both refugees and their reunited family members, while others exclude family members.

The Bosnian Diaspora

Table 1.1

Bosnian refugees in the period 19922005


Recorded Number Changed of Refugees from Country of BH 19921995 Reception 15 000 86 500 5 500 5 000 17 000 6 000 4 000 22 000 170 000 12 100 20 000 7 000 9 000 12 000 320 000 20 000 43 100 297 000 4 500 58 700 24 500 23 500 4 100 13 500 1200 000 1 000 100 400 2 000 52 000 2 000 1 000 1 000 4 800 1 300 52 000 1 000 23 200 50 000 1 000 2 600 17 800 100 1 200 220 000 5 500 Repatriation to BH 19962005 800 10 100 500 1 000 1 600 900 600 4 000 56 000 2 000 600 2 500 3 750 2 500 246 000 1 500 15 000 110 000 1 000 1 900 11 000 4 650 1 000 1100 480 000 Number of Refugees from BH in Host Country in 2005 14 200 70 900 5 000 3 000 15 400 5 000 3 000 16 000 62 000 8100 18 400 3 500 450 8 200 22 000 17 500 4 900 137 000 2 500 56 000 10 900 1 050 3 000 11 200 500 000

Recipient Country of Refugees from BH 19921995 Australia Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark France Greece The Netherlands Croatia Italy Canada Hungary FYR Macedonia Norway Germany USA* Slovenia Serbia and M. Spain and Portugal Sweden Switzerland Turkey G. Britain and Ireland Other Countries Total

Note *The numbers presented in Table 1.1 are much lower than those given by the U.S. Census Bureau. According to this latter source, in the period 19922000, 37 000 Bosnian Refugees and Asylum seekers obtained legal permanent resident status. According to the U.S. Census Bureau the numbers were even larger in the period 20012008 when 81000 Bosnian Refugees and Asylum seekers obtained legal permanent resident status. See The 2010 Statistical Abstract (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, February 2010), Table 51, at http:// www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s0051.pdf [last accessed on 10 October 2010].

Bosnian Migrants: An Introduction

It is difficult to estimate the total number of Bosnian emigrants because they have been accorded different status levels in the various receiving countries. For example, some countries choose to exclude naturalized migrants from their statistics. Other countries primarily identify immigrants on the basis of citizenship, while yet others use place of birth as the deciding criteria. Only a few receiving countries provide extensive data on first and second generation Bosnians. Based on information and estimates provided by Bosnian Embassies and consulates, in 2008 the Bosnian authorities published a report on Bosnian emigrants: Table 1.2 is based on the statistical overview presented in this report (See Overview over the situation of Bosnian emigration 2008).

Table 1.2The global distribution of Bosnian emigration


Recipient Country Australia Austria Belgium Croatia Canada Denmark France Great Britain Germany Italy Luxemburg Netherlands Norway Slovenia Serbia (and Montenegro) Sweden Switzerland USA Other (28) countries Total Estimated number of migrants of Bosnian origin 50 000 132 300 8 000 60 000 60 000 21 000 5 000 10 000 157 200 40 000 6 000 24 700 15 500 100 000 137 000 75 000 50 600 390 000 14 300 1356 600

The Bosnian Diaspora

The 18 countries shown in the table above have together received almost 90 per cent of Bosnian immigrants. As we can see from Table 1.2, the largest proportions of Bosnians living outside their home country are concentrated in the USA, Germany, Austria, Sweden, and in the former Yugoslav republics of Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. However, it should be noted that the Bosnian authorities stress that this overview is not accurate, but the best that can be offered at this stage, with an acknowledged need for improvement and further development. Indeed, the accuracy, and internal comparability of the numbers presented in the overview, are significantly undermined by differences in identification criteria and definitions of migrants and refugees when specifying the target group. The numbers of Bosnian-born migrants living in different host countries could perhaps be seen as providing more accurate and thus better comparative overviews of Bosnian recent emigration.6 In reality, several countries identified different migrant groups on the basis of their respective citizenship criteria. Favell (2005) pointed out, counting only non-nationals as the immigrant population is still the base-line norm across nearly all European countries (Favell 2005: 32). Following this norm, the statistics on Bosnians in Germany (see Table 1.2) show only the number of Bosnians in Germany who still retain Bosnian citizenship. In other words, we can confidently expect that the total number of migrants of Bosnian origin would be higher if we included all Bosnians who relinquished their Yugoslav or Bosnian citizenship in order to acquire German citizenship.7 Further, the statistics of some neighbouring countries are based either on rough estimates or on very narrow definitions of the target group. For example, according to the data presented in Table 1.2, there are sixty thousand Bosnian immigrants in Croatia; however, the estimate shows only the number of Bosnians who retained their Bosnian citizenship, while all Bosnian Croats with Croatian citizenship are excluded from the statistics. The total number of immigrants of Bosnian origin residing in Croatia appears to be several times as high as what is given in official statistics, as indicated by Valenta, Mesi and Strabac (Chapter 14). Unlike the above-mentioned estimates, it is highly probable that the U.S. estimate in Table 1.2 is an over-estimation; the stated number of Bosnians residing in USA is based on unofficial, rough estimates which make no distinction between
6In 2006, there were 29000 immigrants of Bosnian nationality (as defined by country of birth) resident in Canada. Similarly, there were a further16000 resident in Norway and 17000 resident in Denmark. However, it should be noted that some countries also have second and third generation Bosnian migrants. 7 Furthermore, with the disintegration of socialist Yugoslavia, there were Bosnian Croats and Serbians residing in Germany who declined to take Bosnian citizenship, but preferred to replace their former Yugoslavian citizenship with Croatian or Serbian citizenship. These Bosnian born immigrants do not appear in the German statistics as Bosnian because the statistics on immigrants do not usually indicate the place of birth but, rather, current citizenship of an individual.

Bosnian Migrants: An Introduction

the categories i) migrants and their descendants and ii) total number of migrants of Bosnian origin. In other words, the USA estimate in Table 1.2 is based on a much broader definition of the target group than, for example, German estimates. If we focus on more recent, first generation, Bosnian born, migrants in the US, the numbers are considerably lower. For example, according to the US Census Bureau, there were 274,000 migrants in U.S. who spoke the Serbo-Croatian language at home in 2008, while during the period 19922008, a total of 164,000 individuals born in Bosnia obtained legal permanent resident status in the US.8 In sum, due to the different contextual features of the Bosnian community, the different formal definitions of migrant group, and the limited and varying character of statistical sources in different receiving countries, it is difficult to provide an accurate numerical overview of Bosnian Diaspora. One of the aims of this volume is to improve the scope for more meaningful international comparisons. Therefore, the size and composition of Bosnian migrant communities in different countries is one of the issues discussed by most of the authors in this volume.

Integration Outcomes and Contexts of Reception There have been a number of scientific studies and official reports dealing with refugee reception and other aspects of (dis)placement of Bosnians in countries where they found refuge or to which they migrated (Koser and Black 1999, Korac 2001, Berg 2002). Numerous studies on Bosnian refugees, in particular those conducted during the 1990s, focused on protection regimes and repatriation related issues (Koser and Black 1999, Brekke 2001, Berg 2002). However, the focus has gradually changed. It was gradually acknowledged that a large proportion of Bosnian refugees and migrants will not or cannot return to Bosnia. Therefore, the more recent studies on Bosnian migrants place their focus on integration, daily lives, transnational practice and permanent resettlement in the host countries (Al-Ali 2002, Korac 2003, Coughlan and Owens-Manley 2006, Eastmond 2006, Colic-Peisker 2005, Halilovich et al. 2006, Valenta 2009). What do we know from such research about the composition of Bosnian migrant communities, and the communitys solidarity and internal divisions? What do we know about the contexts of reception Bosnian refugees experienced in the 1990s? What does earlier research tell us about integration outcomes in receiving countries and transnational involvement? In terms of the composition of the Bosnian diaspora, it is indicated that the largest proportion of the diaspora consists of Bosnians who migrated during the 1990s as a direct or indirect consequence of war conflict in Bosnia (see Comparative Analysis 2005).
8See The 2010 Statistical Abstract (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, February 2010), Tables 50, 51 and 53, at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s0050. pdf; http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s0051.pdf; and http://www. census.gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s0053.pdf [last accessed on 10 October 2010].

The Bosnian Diaspora

Previous research on Bosnian refugees and immigrants shows that in the early 1990s Bosnians experienced difficulties in obtaining permanent settlement status in most of the receiving countries (Koser and Black 1999, Brekke 2001, Berg 2002, Dimova 2006). Unlike Sweden, Australia, and US, the receiving countries which granted permanent settlement permits at an early stage to large groups of refugees from Bosnia, most countries in Europe offered refugees only temporary protection. However, as already noted, most European countries later moderated their policies and granted permanent settlement to Bosnian refugees. Germany, the EU country which initially took in the largest number of Bosnian refugees, maintained however that the refugees should return to Bosnia once the war ended. A short time after the Dayton agreement was signed the German authorities pressed thousands of refugees to return to Bosnia.9 Due to Germanys return policy toward Bosnians, almost 300,000 Bosnians left Germany in the postwar period after 1995. Many of these returnees became, once again, internally displaced people. Others migrated to third countries. In period 19961999, more than thirty thousand Bosnian refugees migrated from Germany to USA since the American government, at that time, offered refugees much better conditions of reception (Coughlan and Owens-Manley 2006, Dimova 2006).10 As Dimova (2006) points out:
the German government has never granted these people refugee status. It only offered temporary protection and Duldung, which required an unconditional departure from Germany when the war in Bosnia endedFrom their arrival in Germany the refugees were not allowed to obtain work permits or to get a better educationThose who left, who went to the US for instance, have also struggled with the displacement. With the arrival in the US however, the fears surrounding their legal residence were over the US government immediately gave them green cards and residence permits granting them [civil] rights on a par with other citizens. The ones who have stayed in Germany however have been subjected to constant renewed fear of Abschiebung. (Dimova 2006: 50, 51)

The two countries which were the most active in repatriating Bosnian refugees were Germany and Switzerland (Al-Ali et al. 2001: 617), but even so Germany was still providing home to more than seven million immigrants as of 2003 (Kessler et al. 2010: 985). Dimova argues that German policy toward Bosnians has traumatized refugees. One problem was that refugees struggled for years to renew their residence permits in Germany. Another problem was that refugees were denied access to the labour

9 The Dayton Peace Agreement was signed on 14 December 1995. 10See, Overview over situation of Bosnian emigration (Sarajevo: Bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, September 2008), at http://www.mhrr.gov.ba/iseljenistvo/ Publikacije/?id=940 [last accessed on 10 October 2010].

Bosnian Migrants: An Introduction

market. In sum, these problems hampered their integration. In the words of the same author:
The safest way of getting a residence permit in Germany was by providing evidence of severe traumatization. Hence, these people have been torn between required (and often exaggerated) remembering of their past war experiences, and the contemporary, real, but unrecognized trauma related to fear of detainment and deportation. This trauma, however, has become a dominant structuring force in their current lives After many years away from the job market, the Bosnians I talked to admitted that they were not at all competitive and the possibility of finding a job outside the domain of construction for men or cleaning for women was virtually impossible. (Dimova 2006: 51)

Indeed, of all the Bosnians who tried to find refuge in the developed Western world, probably the most unfortunate were those who migrated to Germany (Koser and Black 1999, Coughlan and Owens-Manley 2006, Dimova 2006). But if we look beyond the German case, as we do in this volume, we find that the majority of Bosnian refugees succeeded in formalizing their status and improved their position in many host societies at a faster rate than many other refugee groups (Koser and Black 1999, Blom and Henriksen 2008, Bevelander 2009). The key factors in finding employment have been mastery of the local language and educational level, and adoption of the local language for use at home promotes language acquisition. Here, data from the United States Census Bureau for 2000 show that, among immigrants from Eastern Europe, the three groups which were the least inclined to adopt English as the only language at home were the Belarusians (only 3.5% of them spoke exclusively English at home), Moldovans (also 3.5%) and Bosnians (2.9%) (Robila 2010: 43). Low language skills and low levels of education are associated with low income and, again according to the U.S. census from 2000, some 19.7% of migrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina were earning less than $15,000 a year. Among immigrants/refugees to the USA from Eastern Europe, only migrants from Albania (19.9%), Moldova (24.3%), and Belarus (28%) had larger proportions of persons earning less than $15,000 a year (Robila 2010: 57, for figures on global poverty, see Hollenbach 2010: 2). Moreover, although large proportions of Bosnian migrants (in comparison with other refugees from other countries) were found to have higher educational levels and be more likely to have an urban background,11 this was not true of Bosnian
11 According to some estimates, one-third of the total Bosnian migrant population has a higher education. See, Overview over situation of Bosnian emigration (Sarajevo: Bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, September 2008), at http://www.mhrr.gov.ba/ iseljenistvo/Publikacije/?id=940. See also the report of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Bosnian and Herzegovina Migration Profile (Ljubljana: Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia, September 2007), at http://www.iom.hu/PDFs/BiH_ Migration%20Profile.PDF. [both reports were accessed last on 23. September 2010].

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The Bosnian Diaspora

migrants to the United States, where data from the 2000 census showed that, among immigrants and refugees from Eastern Europe, those from Bosnia and Herzegovina had the lowest levels of educational attainment, with only 4.4% of Bosnian migrants to the USA having a graduate degree, and only 74.8% holding a high school diploma or better the lowest ranking on both measures among migrants from Eastern Europe (Robila 2010: 43). It was implied in several earlier studies on Bosnians in Western Europe that Bosnian human capital has, in combination with their European background and appearance, eased their integration into western countries (Koser and Black 1999, Valenta 2009). Similar arguments are used by researchers in this volume. Several authors in this volume (Valenta and Strabac in Chapter 4 and Franz in Chapter 7) also argue that gender relations, and the relatively high participation of Bosnian women in work force also should be taken in account when we analyse long-term integration outcomes of Bosnian immigrants and refugees (e.g., when we compare Bosnian families and households with many other, non-European, refugee and immigrant households). Although Bosnian women still encounter patriarchy and sexism in Bosnian communities, as argued by Mikovi (Chapter 11), the values and gender roles found among Bosnians are more compatible with expectations found in the labour market where the norm is that both women and men should be active in the work force. Due to this factor, Bosnian households have better purchasing power, compared with other immigrant groups where women are less likely to be active in the labour force. And the better economic integration of the household the greater opportunities immigrants will have regarding other types of integration (see Valenta and Strabac in Chapter 4). Several studies imply that Bosnian migrants often experienced less discrimination and stigmatization when compared with most non-European migrant groups (Colic-Peisker 2005, Valenta 2009, EU-MIDIS 2009). For example, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights published a report in 2009 based on interviews with 23,500 people from various ethnic minority and immigrant groups spanning the EUs 27 Member States.12 The survey included 2,591 migrants from Bosnia and other Yugoslav successor states whose residence was distributed over the countries Germany, Austria, Slovenia, and Luxemburg. This survey indicates that migrants from Bosnia and other Yugoslav successor states had experienced less discrimination than certain other large and comparable groups, for instance, Turkish migrants. However, this does not mean that a European background gives Bosnians total immunity from stigmatization and discrimination in all host societies.13 Bosnian migrants may still experience
12 See EU-MIDIS: European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (Vienna: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2009), at http://www.fra.europa.eu/ fraWebsite/attachments/eumidis_mainreport_conference-edition_en_.pdf [last accessed on 23. September 2010]. 13Indeed, as white Europeans, Bosnians were, in certain settings, considered to be a white refugee elite (Colic-Peisker 2005: 620).

Bosnian Migrants: An Introduction

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discrimination, stigma and linguistic barriers in host societies, as some studies on Bosnians in Australia and Norway have indicated (Colic-Peisker 2005, Valenta 2009).14 Even in neighboring countries, where cultural and linguistic barriers are minimal, studies indicate that Bosnian migrants may experience stigmatization (Gregurovi 2005). In sum: although Bosnian migrants are, in all probability, in a much better position than some of the other visible minorities, nevertheless, various receiving societies do ascribe different identities to Bosnian migrants and those identities do not exclude the diverse experiences of ethnic, migrant and religious stigmatization (Colic-Peisker 2005, Gregurovi 2005, Valenta 2009).15

Perspectives on Integration A recent report on Bosnian immigrants published by the Bosnian authorities summarises the situation of Bosnian emigrants around the globe, emphasizing in particular these dimensions: a) more than 90 per cent of Bosnian migrants resettled around the world have solved their permanent status, either by achieving citizenship in the receiving country or by resort to some other formally prescribed regulation; b) Bosnian communities are segmented and organized on the basis of ethnic belonging. The majority of Bosnian migrants do not feature in migrant organizations; c) a large proportion of Bosnian migrants in at least some countries are well educated, and large numbers of young people participate in higher education in their receiving countries. Finally, the report states that the process of assimilation is becoming increasingly evident, especially among Bosnian children (Overview on the situation of Bosnian emigration 2008:69). However, even Bosnian migrants with higher education and relevant work experience, often have been forced to accept employment far below their level of educational attainment.16 Researchers in this volume both confirm and nuance several of aforementioned dimensions. In what follows, we indicate how researchers in this volume link together some of the mentioned factors, patterns and outcomes to the concepts of integration and transnationalism. The concept of integration may be applied in several ways. Some researchers have deconstructed the concept of integration
14 As Colic-Peskier pointed out, Bosnians in Australia are not a visible, but an audible minority (Colic-Peskier 2005: 629). European background may be an important asset, but not always, as it was implied in one Swiss study which indicated that Yugoslavians in Switzerland are seen as more culturally distant than some non-European groups such as Tamils (Wimmer 2004). 15 Findings from these studies are also concordant with the aforementioned EU survey, which indicated that within the former Yugoslav group as a whole, those living in Germany experienced the highest overall level of discrimination grounded in ethnicity, while the overall situation for former Yugoslavs in Austria is the best among the groups surveyed (EU-MIDIS 2009: 226). 16 For more on these problems see Korac (2003), Colic-Peisker (2005), Franz (2005), and Dimova (2006).

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into several sub-elements (Gordon 1964, Portes and Zhou 1993, Ager and Strang 2008). For example, contemporary integration and assimilation theories, amongst others, segmented assimilation theory (Portes and Zhou 1993), focus primarily on educational, social, residential, and economic outcomes, as do several authors in this volume. In the studies on Bosnians in Norway and Austria (see Valenta and Strabac in Chapter 4 and Franz in Chapter 7), the focus falls on integration into the labour market and educational and residential integration, while in their study on Bosnians in Croatia, Valenta, Mesi, and Strabac focus on societal aspects of integration, the sense of belonging and the feelings of stigma, social acceptance and rejection (Chapter 14). Several elements of segmented assimilation theory (Portes and Zhou 1993, Stepick and Stepick 2009) may be used in the organization of our analysis, inter alia while we compare Bosnians with other ethnic groups. However, this approach is not without problems. In his discussion of weaknesses of comparative analysis which takes the ethnic group as a basic analytical unit, Wimmer (Chapter 2) makes an important point when he refers to Fredrik Barths pivotal work Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organisation of Culture Difference (Barth 1969), and reminds us that the boundaries of ethnic groups are constructed. In line with this Barthian stance, the research in this volume implies that the cultural content and boundaries do not necessarily overlap and that individual intra-group differences in experiences and integration trajectories may be larger than those found amongst members of different immigrant groups. If the boundaries of perceived groups are constructed, then, by the same virtue, those boundaries may change. Research by Charles Hirschman (2004) has shown that, while second and third generation immigrants often marry outside their ethnic or national group, they rarely marry outside their religious group.17 Moreover, to the extent that members of the third generation may still define themselves as having an identity different from that of most citizens of the host country, they are more apt to define their identity in terms of their religion, rather than in terms of the ethnic or national origin of their grandparents (Hirschman 2004, 12091211). Where the Bosnian diaspora is concerned, this suggests that, by the third generation, Catholics will feel fully integrated into societies with Catholic majorities, while those maintaining their Orthodox or Islamic faith while living in Western Europe or Australia or the USA are likely to continue to feel that they are outsiders. As Bassam Tibi has noted, third generation Muslims [will have come] to constitute an Islamic diaspora (Tibi 2010: 134) rather than, in this case, a Bosnian diaspora. This is not to say that Muslims do not form bonds with their adopted countries. On the contrary, they do form such bonds, but, as Akbarzadeh and Mansouri have suggested, European Muslim migrants
17 On this point, Hirschmans study is in concordance with earlier studies, including Milton Gordons seminal work Assimilation in American life: The Role of Race, Religion, and National Origins (Gordon 1964).

Bosnian Migrants: An Introduction

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navigate between connections [with] and emotional attachment to the country of residence and connections with and emotional attachment to their country of origin (Akbarzadeh and Mansouri 2007: 11, as quoted in Tibi 2010: 134). On the one hand, we acknowledge that there may be found a myriad of adjustments and realties, both individual- and class-dependent, among immigrants from Poland, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, etc. On the other hand, the research in this volume also shows that we cannot neglect the fact that members of these groups also share some common experiences. First, migrants have collective identities as Poles, Bosnians, Somalis, Croats, and so forth, to which the hosts attach certain stereotypes which may place members of these diverse groups in specific place and relations toward the mainstream society. Second, members of the same ethnic group have often also experienced similar reception regimes, the regimes which differ from those experienced by other ethnic groups. As we noted in the previous section, Bosnians had experienced different contexts of reception in different host societies, with earlier studies indicating that Bosnians individual/collective characteristics, and the context of reception encountered, may have had some influence on their integration experience and outcomes. Therefore, several authors in this volume imply that, in spite of the criticism, controversy, and confusions which segmented assimilation theory has provoked (Stepick and Stepick 2009), the theory may, nevertheless, help us to illuminate links between different integration patterns and the political and societal and community contexts experienced by Bosnian migrants in various recipient countries. Here it is perhaps worth noting that, for involuntary migrants (refugees), there can be challenges additional to what voluntary migrants must face. Specifically, as work by Cohon has shown, involuntary migrants are more at risk psychologically than voluntary migrants (1981: 255). In this connection, Eitinger (1960, as cited in Cohon 1981: 258) found that the refugees he studied (not from Bosnia, however) often suffered from delusions of persecution and confused states, while another study, conducted by Tyhurst found that psychiatric symptoms typically appear only about six months after refugees arrive in their host country (Tyhurst 1951: 765766). A study of specifically Bosnian refugees conducted by a group of researchers headed by Steven Weine found that age was positively correlated with rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and that the adolescents in the group studied did not, in general, have PTSD and further that traumatic exposure in adolescents.may be manifest [rather] in traumatic play, behavioural re-enactments, and cognitive distortions (Weine et al. 1995: 539, see also the follow-up study reported in Weine et al. 1998). In order to explain Bosnian integration outcomes, several authors in this volume link some aforementioned elements of the contexts of reception (Portes and Zhou 1993), to migrants individual characteristics and their migratory and pre-migratory experiences. In other words, the authors organize their analysis in a more or less explicate manner, in ways very typically associated with segmented assimilation theory (Portes and Zhou 1993). For example, Valenta and Strabac (Chapter 4), focus on: integration assistance provided by Norwegian authorities,

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Bosnian migrant community, and societal reception of Bosnians in Norway. Coughlan (Chapter 5) focuses on the same dimensions, but in the American context, while in chapters on Bosnians in Australia (Halilovich in Chapter 3) and Sweden (Slavni in Chapter 13) focus on relations within Bosnian migrant communities. The concept of integration may be deconstructed in other ways, inter alia, we may also distinguish between internal and external integration or between bonding and bridging (Schierup 1988, Putnam 2000, Ager and Strang 2008). Here, internal integration and bonding may be associated with a degree of internal solidarity and cohesion within the immigrant group, while external integration and bridging may denote a degree of migrants links with the mainstream society.18 Several authors in this volume show that Bosnian migrant communities are heterogeneous in several ways and that this heterogeneity may undermine internal solidarity. In most receiving countries, Bosnian communities are dominated by Bosniaks who fled from the war and ethnic cleansing during the 1990s (Comparative Analysis 2005). As is well known, the Bosnian diaspora comprises three ethnic groups: Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats.19 Bosnian communities are often divided by ethnic boundaries; Bosnian migrants who are not members of the majority Bosniak group are known not to associate themselves with Bosnian organizations that are dominated by Bosniaks (Brekke 2001, see also Overview over situation of Bosnian emigration 2008). As Halilovich (Chapter 3) and Povrzanovi-Frykman (Chapter 12) indicate, recent Bosnian migrants of Croat and Serb ethnicity are primarily attracted to Croat and Serbian migrant communities, which were initially established by older cohorts of migrants from Croatia and Serbia. Indeed, there are several mechanisms that may undermine internal solidarity, reinforce ethnic divisions, and perpetuate conflicts in Bosnian migrant communities. The conflicts between Bosnian immigrants of different ethnicities may be related to pre-migration experiences of war conflict. As Coughlan indicates, (Chapter 5), the memories of the war in Bosnia can generate mistrust and reduce solidarity even between or among members of the same ethnic group. However, conflicts between Bosnian migrant groups may also be linked to post-migration experiences, as it is illustrated by Slavni in his study on Bosnians in Sweden (Chapter 13). However, in line with Wimmer (Chapter 2), the research in this volume also indicates that distinctions and conflicts, as well as homophily and internal solidarity, among Bosnians are not necessarily based on ethnicity. Among other things, it is indicated that some Bosnian migrants have entered the host society from above and managed to re-establish their former high socio-economic position in the
18 Also the segmented assimilation theory features on various features of migrants ethnic communities (Stepick and Stepick 2009). 19 The terms Bosniak and Bosnian Muslim are used in this volume to refer to members of one of the three major ethnic groups in the country.

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host society. Others entered the receiving country from below and experienced difficulties in trying to improve their position within the class hierarchy of the host society. In addition some Bosnian migrants have rural background while others have urban background. These categories are divided by different attitudes of ambivalence and different types of distinction-making which involve a resort to stereotypes and prejudices on both sides, as indicated by Halilovich (Chapter 3) and Coughlan (Chapter 5). Bosnian Transnationalism from Above and Below The aim of this volume is not only, as already mentioned, to explore the size/ composition of the Bosnian diaspora and integration experience/outcomes of Bosnian migrants, but also to analyse their transnational practices, as well as to clarify the links between some of the dimensions discussed thus far. What does previous research tell us about Bosnian transnational practices and about transnationalism in general? Transnationalism is usually associated with processes by which immigrants build social fields that link together, in multiple ways, their country of origin and their country of settlement. Morawska (2004) provides a definition which concretely identifies its different levels and what multiple ties we may find. In the words of the author:
transnationalism here denotes sustained regular or situationally mobilized involvements of migrants and their children in a few or several economic, political, social and cultural (symbolic and material) affairs of their home country or other countries at different national or local (households, informal communities, institutions) level. (Morawska 2004: 1375; see also Al-Ali et al. 2001)

Morawska (2004) also proposes several factors which, in combination, may result in the absence of transnational activities (such as immigrants strong resentment toward the home country, emigration of entire families, no intention to return, experience of inclusion in the host country, lack of opportunity to engage in transnational practice, etc.). The other limitation is related to inter-generational differences. One relevant question here, as Vertovec (2009) asks, is: are current patterns of transnational involvement among trans-migrants going to dwindle or die with second and subsequent generations? (Vertovec 2009: 17). Some of the answers provided by recent research indicate that transnationalism does not disappear but, rather, changes in form, including with the emergence of transnational identities (Madood 2003, Sackman et al. 2003, Purkayastha 2005, Vertovec 2009). But how can immigrants modes of incorporation into the receiving country be linked with immigrants and refugees transnational adjustments? The old assumptions which presupposed that strong transnational attachments were the result of unsuccessful incorporation into receiving societies seem to be under

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challenge (Portes et al. 2002, Morawska 2004, Vertovec 2009). As Portes and his colleagues have shown in several studies on immigrants and refugees in the U.S., transnational practices amongst contemporary immigrants correlate positively with their integration into the mainstream of receiving countries (Portes et al. 2002: 294). It seems that the aforementioned positive interconnections between integration and transnationalism may also be applied to Bosnian migrants. Povrzanovi-Frykman (Chapter 12) and Valenta and Strabac (Chapter 4) illustrate how the economic situation of the migrant in the receiving countries influences transnational practices among Bosnian migrants (such as a frequency of visits to the home country, and the sending of remittances). Amongst other things, it is argued that investments in properties on the Adriatic Coast and visits to relatives back home may be seen as part of migrants transnational commitment to relatives back home. As the authors indicate, such transnational behaviour not only is propelled by migrants upward mobility in the host countries, but is also closely related to immigrants aspirations in terms of acquiring a middle class life-style as enjoyed by majority middle class populations in receiving countries. In studies on transnationalism, a distinction is also often drawn between transnationalism on macro and micro levels, between structural constraints and human agency, or in connection with a type of transnationalism known as below and above (Goldring 1998, Vertovec 2009, Castles and Miller 2009). Regarding macro factors and transnationalism from above, it may be useful to mention several interrelated topics or modes of exploration. Previous research on Bosnian transnationalism indicates that the policies of receiving countries may be an important structural factor influencing the transnational behaviour of Bosnian migrants (Al-Ali 2002, Eastmond 2006). For example, temporary protection policies forced refugees to keep all their options open including the maintenance of transnational links with Bosnia and third countries. The function of these transnational links was to prepare the ground for repatriation or migration to third countries in the event that the authorities in receiving countries decided to return them by force to Bosnia. These precautionary measures proved to be largely unnecessary in many cases, since most EU countries offered the refugees permanent status (Koser and Black 1999). However, for Bosnian refugees who found their first refuge in Germany these precautionary measures proved very necessary. Aside from forced returns, voluntary repatriation policies also had certain transnational dimensions. In order to prepare Bosnians for their return, many host countries established extensive repatriation programmes which influenced the transnational engagements of Bosnian migrants (Eastmond 2006). Some host countries and international organizations encouraged Bosnians to visit their home country or even to become involved in different projects in Bosnia. The intention with these policies was that initial transnational engagement would lead to permanent return. However, it seems that stable transnational engagements were perpetuated, and are preferred to the permanent return (Eastmond 2006). As Eastmond pointed out, authorities in the receiving countries have tended to define refugee return as a single and definitive

Bosnian Migrants: An Introduction

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move to Bosnia. According to Eastmond, the voluntary return to Bosnia could be better conceptualized as a dynamic and open-ended process, one which may extend over long periods of time, involving mobility between the receiving countries and Bosnia (Eastmond 2006: 141). The focus on Bosnian transnationalism from above should also take into consideration the Diaspora policies and engagements of Bosnian officials or the Bosnian state. It is indicated in the literature that active diaspora policies may generate the involvement of migrants in the socio-economic development of their home country (Portes and Rumbaut 2006, Castles and Miller 2009). However, it seems that the Bosnian authorities did not develop such policies. As the International Organization for Migration has pointed out:
There is no diaspora policy or related legislation in BiH. There is, however, a sector for diaspora within the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees The sector acts as a resource point for BiH citizens living abroad, providing up-todate information on citizenship laws, investment opportunities and developments within the country. There is currently no diaspora strategy or Action Plan, but initial discussions have begun on developing a unifying strategy to ensure the activities outputs are maximized. (IOM 2007: 3233)

Although Bosnian diaspora policies are underdeveloped, this does not mean that Bosnian migrants are not involved in the development of the country. Various international organizations, NGOs and, also, Bosnian authorities have organized several programmes with the aim of reconnecting expatriates with their home country.20 Third, according to The World Bank, Bosnia is among the largest recipients of remittances in the world. At the individual level, these remittances may be seen as an indicator of involvement. At the aggregate level, however, remittances alone may be seen as macro factor activity, or, a form of transnationalism from above, since they exert a considerable impact on the Bosnian economy. Therefore, Jakobsen (Chapter 9) focuses on migrants remittances at the aggregate level, and explores the links between remittances, foreign investments to Bosnia and economic development of the country. Although the authors in this volume acknowledge the importance of transnationalism from the above perspective, most focus primarily on private, informal modes of transnational engagement of a type usually associated with transnationalism from below (Goldring 1998; Carling 2008) or as Vertovec calls it the everyday life transnationalism (Vertovec 2009: 61). Several contributions, suggest that transnationalism from below includes the sending of remittances, migration assistance, and home visits to family members and friends in Bosnia. Transnationalism from below may, however, also include various collective engagements generated by the migrant grass-roots movements and ethnic
20 See IOMs rapport Bosnian and Herzegovina Migration Profile, pp. 4143, for overview over these programs.

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organizations, as indicated by Halilovich (Chapter 3) and Kali and Gomba (Chapter 10). Although it is evident that the Bosnian migrant community is fragmented, and that the majority of Bosnian migrants are not included in the work of ethnic or multi-ethnic clubs and organizations, these studies indicate that this does not mean that Bosnians are not engaged in or helping to reproduce, certain collective transnational or trans-local activities. Among other things, a myriad of Bosnian newspapers, TV programmes, blogs and Internet portals, serves as evidence of such engagements.21 We have already discussed the strengths and weaknesses of segmented assimilation theory. At this point, it may be relevant to mention that several researchers have tried to relate transnationalism with certain elements of segmented assimilation theory. Morawska (2004), for instance, linked different modes of migrant incorporation in the host countries with different types of migrant transnational engagement. Drawing from Morawska (2004), we may assume that the type of Bosnian transnationalism from below (including the type of transnational exchange) is linked to the context of reception and the patterns of Bosnian integration into the host society. Valenta and Strabac (Chapter 8) refer to these links. However, they also stress that the patterns of migrant integration should go beyond the analysis of migrant practice in the host country, but also be related to non-migrants in Bosnia, who also are included in transnational social field. Regarding the expectations of non-migrants in Bosnia, we may assume that they would differ, depending on how they perceive the migrants host country and migrants position in the country. For example, the expectations of non-migrants in Bosnia, regarding the type of help they can get from migrant relatives, would be higher if their migrant relatives were well paid professionals in Scandinavian countries or restaurant owners in Switzerland and Austria than if they were guest workers or refugees in Croatia or Serbia. Bosnians who resettled in wealthy European countries and who achieved relatively high economic integration into these societies will also have better economic bases for investments in properties in Bosnia. They will also have more resources for other transnational engagements such as frequent home visits and sending remittances to relatives in Bosnia. Drawing on previous research (Morawska 2004, Carling 2008), Valenta and Strabac (Chapter 8) argue that these features will exert influence on the human dynamics of transnational relations. Finally, it should be stressed that Bosnian everyday life transnationalism, and also operates at the socio-psychological level which involves not only individual actions but also variety of individual and collective identities and individual meanings. At this level of Bosnian integration in transnational communities, we may find a variety of interpretations and responses, which include a multiple of references and modes of belonging. As Povrzanovi-Frykman illustrates, the concept of transnational belonging may include belonging to more than two national
21 For an overview of these mass media in different receiving countries see Overview over the Situation of Bosnian Emigration.

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states. Furthermore, referring to Bosnian Croats ethnic self-identifications and Croatophilia, Valenta, Mesi and Strabac suggest that transnational belongings do not only exist among Bosnian migrants after migration, but may also be found even prior to migration. However, authors also indicate that after migration, the pre-migratory transitional feeling of belonging to co-ethnic imagined community can after migration get new forms and interpretations and even result in various frustrations and disappointments. As Halilovichs study shows, a new mode of belonging may arise as a reaction to ethnicity, nationalism and national states. Halilovich argues that these reactions may include trans-local responses of Bosnian migrants to nationalism. But it seems that these transnational and translocal belongings to small local communities in Bosnia do not necessarily exclude some broader geographical references and over-national identifications. For example, several authors in this volume also stress that an important reference and mode of belonging for Bosnians is their European background, which is basis for the migrants self-definition, and which they use to distinguish themselves from other, more stigmatized non-European categories of migrants.22 And finally, the aforementioned references and strategies are also often related to religion. For example, research indicates that Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) due to the host countries Islamophobia may try to keep a low profile when it comes to their religious practice (as indicated by Kali and Gomba in Chapter 10); or to selfdefine themselves as atheists, cosmopolites, and Europeans (see Coughlan in Chapter 5 and Mikovi in Chapter 11); or as Behloul suggests in Chapter 15, a multiple references and modes of belonging may include an increased focus on European (Bosnian) presentation of Islam. The European Islamic reference is here seen as a part of the migrants response to global political tensions which contribute to anti-Muslim discourse and Western Islamophobia.

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22 For example, the research in this volume indicates that the anti-Muslim xenophobia does not only influence the identity work of Bosnian Muslims. In their attempts to avoid stigmatization, Bosnian migrants may stress that they are Croats and Catholics, or that they are European and Christians.

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