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Transnational Families, Farms and Firms: Migrant Entrepreneurs in Kosovo and Serbia from the 1960s to today

Thematic complex:
Fostering sustainable rural livelihoods in the age of migration
Project duration:
01.04.2022 - 31.03.2025
Investigated countries:
Serbia, Republic of Kosovo

Few places in Europe are shaped by migration like the former Yugoslavia. Zooming in on Serbia and Kosovo, this project explores social effects of migration and return on origin societies. The project’s main research question is: which strategies did migrants and their families develop by exploiting the multi-faceted resources gained by migration? Focusing on entrepreneurial activities, it relates migrant agency to social status, state policies, family and kinship, gender, as well as value and political orientations. The team of researchers strives to explain the empirical puzzle of persistent homeland-oriented (economic, social, and emotional) migrant investments despite corruption and economic stagnation. Thus, the project deconstructs visions of development by exploring their ideological framings. It provides a comparison in time, tracing transformations in migrant behavior since the 1960s. Finally, it cuts across the rural-urban divide comparing areas with different family models and distinctive migration and remitting patterns. The project will apply a mixed method approach that relies on a broad scope of sources, including ethnography, interviews, household surveys, census data, as well as archival documents, newspapers, and policy papers.

Project partners


Project Staff

Dr. Judith Möllers (Project leader)
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Janine Pinkow-Läpple
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Dr. Thomas Dufhues
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