Internal Migration and Regional Development in Socialist Yugoslavia: Settlement from Dalmatia to Slavonia and Vojvodina Compared

Start - End 
2021 - 2025 (ongoing)
Department of Languages and Cultures



The homogenisation process of Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War caused population shifts which left long-lasting impacts for both the people on the move as well as the recipient lands. In the newly formed Socialist Yugoslavia this event concurred with agrarian reform and colonisation that completely changed land ownership relations and allowed an unprecedented level of social mobility. This research focuses on internal migration and spatial politics of the state-guided colonisation from the region of Dalmatia to similarly multicultural regions of Slavonia and Vojvodina and its impact in the following two decades. Its goal is to compare the recipient regions firstly through the analysis of the colonists' adaptation and integration with several case studies. The second goal is to discuss the political and ethnic composition of the settlement process. The colonists officially declared themselves Croats or Serbs but also considered themselves Dalmatians and Yugoslavs. Therefore, they are a prime example of blurred lines between regional, national, and transnational identities. The third goal is to connect this to a larger context of the homogenisation process in Europe through a comparison of government policies and results. The methodological approach combines a horizontal perspective, which covers relations between the newcomers and local populations, and a vertical (bottom to top) perspective. The emphasis is on a microhistorical approach through case studies of selected colonists settlements. The primary sources come from archival documentation, local newspapers and semi-structured interviews with colonists and their descendants, supplemented by secondary literature.



Phd Student(s)