To the northwest!

Intra-Yugoslav Albanian migration (1953-1989).

To the northwest!

About the project


The Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz, is pleased to announce the launch of a new research project “To the Northwest! Intra Yugoslav Albanian migration (1953-1989)” supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) P 32345 from April 2020 and led by Rory Archer.

Researchers have explored many aspects of Albanian migration – so much so that one renowned scholar of the field, Russel King, described Albania as a ‘laboratory’ for the study of migration and development. Despite the large number of studies examining the experience of Albanian migrants in countries like Greece, Italy and Switzerland (and the impact of migration in the towns and villages in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia) one crucial part of the story is missing. What about the many Albanians from Kosovo (and Macedonia) who migrated within Yugoslavia during the socialist period in considerable numbers?

Albanians were the largest non-Slavic population in Yugoslavia, reaching up to 8 per cent of the population by the 1980s. Predominantly rural in origin, Albanian labour migrants gravitated to industrial centres around the country in search of work. This project explores the case of Albanian labour migration from the Southeast of Yugoslavia to the country’s northwest (Croatia and Slovenia) between 1953 and 1989 through historical and historical-anthropological methods.

Our Team


Rory Archer

Project researcher

Dr. Rory Archer is a social historian of 20th century Southeast Europe. He is the project PI and will explore Albanian migration to Croatia.

Mladen Zobec

project researcher

Mladen Zobec is a Law and Politics doctoral student at University of Graz and works as a researcher on this research project.

News & Events


The entrepreneurial spirit of Poreč’s old town in the 1980s (notes from the field)

For the month of May 2021 I am finally able to undertake oral history interviews with Albanians living and working in Istria. While the pandemic has upended research plans for many colleagues, the com…

Reflections of an Albanian migrant in Ljubljana on experiencing the end of Yugoslavia

Besnik is an Albanian migrant from Macedonia living in Slovenia for more than 30 years. I had the opportunity to meet him in February 2020 while doing a radio broadcast for Radio Študent, an independe…

‘Market’ and ‘non-market’ nations: Albanian entrepreneurialism in late-socialist Slovenia
‘Market’ and ‘non-market’ nations: Albanian entrepreneurialism in late-socialist Slovenia

Delo (‘Labour’) was once the most read daily newspaper in socialist Slovenia and still today its circulation is among the highest in the country. In 1988, one of its Saturday editions (Sobotna priloga…

‘The main green market in Split: A market of Albanian labourers’ (Nedjeljna Dalmacija,1988)
Gendered aspects of Albanian migration in Croatia (1988 and 2020)

A recent article in Balkan Insight penned by Fjori Sinoruka and Mare Knezević explores the position of Albanian women migrants in Croatia. In ‘Struggling to be Seen: In Croatia, Albanian Women Fight P…

Introduction: Developing the research project

The idea for a project exploring the social history of Yugoslav Albanians during socialism generally, and the experience of migration in the socialist republics of Slovenia and Croatia in particular, …

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Our website is live

After a couple of months of work we are finally there. Our website went live today!

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