Social protection and return migration: The Albanian-Greek migration corridor

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Social protection and return migration: The Albanian-Greek migration corridor

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 - 5:00pm
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR
Zana Vathi (Edge Hill University)
Manolis Pratsinakis (DPIR, University of Oxford)
Othon Anastasakis (St Antony’s College, Oxford); Foteini Kalantzi (St Antony’s College, Oxford); Manolis Pratsinakis (DPIR, University of Oxford)
Biao Xiang (COMPAS, University of Oxford)

SEESOX Seminar Series

Based on qualitative research with migrants, their children and key informants in Albania, this presentation will investigate the experiences of return migrants with social protection and their positionality towards social protection stakeholders. Return migration to Albania has intensified in the past few years due to the economic crisis in different European countries where many Albanians have migrated to since the beginning of the 1990s. Findings of multisited fieldwork testify to the centrality of social protection in the process of migrants’ relocation to the country of origin. Due to the trans-national and trans-temporal dimensions of the return process, access to and overall experiences of social protection are mediated by different understandings and regulation of the thresholds of vulnerability, need and welfare held by return migrants, locals, policy makers and service providers. These staggered understandings and thresholds are embedded in an observed trans-national and trans-local developmental gap between the country of immigration and country of origin where migrants relocate to. Resource environment in the context of return is, therefore, characterised by cognitive and material discontinuities at trans-national and trans-temporal level. Experiences of these discontinuities impact on returnees’ social protection strategies and have significant implications for their social and economic positioning upon return to the country of origin.

Zana Vathi specialises in migration studies and has been doing interdisciplinary research in this field since 2005.

Prior to moving to Edge Hill University in 2012, she worked as researcher and tutor at the University of Sussex at Brighton. She was part of the Sussex Centre for Migration Research in 2005-12. Her doctoral research consisted of a comparative qualitative research with children of migrants, first-generation migrants, and key informants in three different sites: London (UK), Thessaloniki (Greece) and Florence (Italy). This research was awarded the 2012 IMISCOE Maria Ioannis Baganha Prize as the best PhD project in migration studies in Europe. In Edge Hill she has established and runs the work of the Migration Working Group – North West (MWG-NW) a research and policy group that brings together academics, organisations and practitioners working on migration who are either based in the North West of the UK, or researching migration in this region.