Call for papers

Third Annual Conference of the Western Balkans Migration Network

"A search for that special place under the sun in modern Europe: migration in the twenty first century"

Zagreb, May 2526, 2018

The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, a member of WB-MIGNET, in cooperation with University College Effectus for Law and Finance and The Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, is organizing the third Western Balkans Migration Conference to be held in Zagreb on May 25–26, 2018.

The countries of Southeast Europe have a long tradition of migration flows related to political or economic reasons. In addition to the migration issues related to their home population, recently they have found themselves on the migratory route for significant numbers of refugees and asylum seekers seeking a way to Western Europe. This movement has brought many challenges and uncertainties in its wake, together with a wide range of popular, policy and political responses. The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars, policy-makers and advocates in order to create a forum for the exchange of knowledge and discussion of the issues that surround contemporary migration research and policy in and of the region; to challenge existing models and discourses for understanding migration; to address current policy challenges; and to offer solutions which result in the more humane treatment of migrants and the promotion of mobility.

Migration presents a series of challenges for practitioners, policy-makers and researchers, requiring new forms of innovative partnerships for action research and evidence-based policy-making. Contemporary migration patterns and responses confront us, directly, with challenges regarding sovereignty in an age of globalization; how to balance territorialized and extra-territorial approaches; the role of information technology, surveillance and social media; the resilience of existing migratory networks; and the weakening of accountability mechanisms and redress when violations of rights occur.

Migrants are increasingly limited in terms of receiving protection from harm when fleeing, both en route and upon arrival and in terms of accessing a range of social, economic and political rights. The phenomenon of irregular migration, often organized by human smugglers, increases vulnerability and stress. Migration also has noticeable effects on labor markets and socio-economic development in both host and home countries. Those fleeing conflicts are being joined by those fleeing from economic underdevelopment, political persecution and, increasingly, refugees seeking to escape the dramatic effects of climate change.  A faith in ‘circular migration’ combined with ‘diaspora remittances’ as a driver of sustainable development and livelihoods is looking increasingly shaky.    
The conference has a multidisciplinary approach and intends to bring together scholars from a broad range of disciplines including anthropology, demography, economics, law, psychology, sociology, social work and social policy, geography, development studies, health sciences, political science, international relations, and other related disciplines with a focus on human mobility. Interdisciplinary research and comparative perspectives, both within Southeast Europe and between this region and other countries and regions, are particularly encouraged. 

Conference topics

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
  • migration and development
  • the effect of migration on poverty and inequality
  • remittances and their socio-economic impacts
  • diaspora externalities
  • migration and institutional change
  • the development of migration regimes in the Western Balkans and the role of external actors
  • circular, return and onward migration
  • migration and demographic change
  • retirees and elderly migration
  • migration and urbanization
  • brain drain/gain
  • diaspora and diplomacy
  • migration policies and migration management
  • migration and citizenship
  • labor markets and labor mobility of labor
  • forced migration and the current ‘refugee crisis’
  • migration and security
  • identities, ethnicity, and minority rights
  • minority diaspora and cross-border communities
  • irregular migration and trafficking
  • internal migration, rural-urban migration and the rise of suburban peripheries 

Keynote speakers

  • Prof. Russell King, University of Sussex
  • Prof. Aija Lulle, University of Latvia
  • Dr. Ferruccio Pastore, International and European Forum on Migration Research, Turin

Important dates

  • Extended abstract submission: April 16, 2018
  • Acceptance notification: May 7, 2018
  • Full paper submission: September 15, 2018
  • Final registration deadline: May 15, 2018 (the conference is free to attend but registration in advance is required)
  • Conference dates: May 25–26, 2018


Submissions of papers are welcome from academics, policy makers, advocates/activists, doctoral students and others working on migration issues. Please submit an extended abstract of 300–500 words, using the template provided in the Conference web page format, to Please include the title of the paper, the author(s)' name(s) and the email of the corresponding author who would present the paper at the conference. 

Publication opportunities

The organizers will prepare a Book of Abstracts for the conference. After the conference, authors will have the opportunity to submit their papers to one of the following journals: