Maria Koinova, born in Sofia, Bulgaria. Ph.D. from the European University Institute, Florence. Assistant Professor in International Relations and Transnationalism at the University of Amsterdam.
Fellow (1 February 2012 – 30 June 2012)
DIASPORA IDENTITIES AND POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION: POST-YUGOSLAV DIASPORAS IN THE NETHERLANDS AND LINKAGES TO THEIR ORIGINAL HOMELANDS.
I worked on a project entitled “Diaspora Identities and Post-conflict Reconstruction: Post-Yugoslav Diasporas in the Netherlands and Linkages to their Original Homelands.” Two ISI-ranked articles, a book chapter, and a short newsletter report will be the results of this research. There are six major findings:
Conflict-generated identities of migrants coexist with reconciled ones, but are still strong and motivate interactions within various post-Yugoslav sub-groups in the Netherlands
There are still numerous people who feel “Yugoslav.” This demonstrates that an identity coined during the existence of socialist Yugoslavia remains “frozen” abroad
The rulings of the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia influences the diasporas to mobilize but on an ad hoc basis, mostly when war criminals are brought to the tribunal, trials start, or verdicts are delivered
By contrast, the failed Dutch peace-keeping mission in Srebrenica in 1995 conditions much of the sustained transnational mobilization particularly among the Bosniak (Bosnian Muslims), but also influences political relationships between Dutch state institutions and the Bosniak and other post-Yugoslav communities
Representatives of post-Yugoslav sub-groups find that the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric of PVV leader Geert Wilders resembles the nationalist rhetoric of political entrepreneurs which started the disintegration of Yugoslavia and is dangerous to the long-term social processes of Dutch society
Beyond sporadic initiatives, the EU enlargement process to the Western Balkans has little relevance for the transnational activities of diaspora institutions and networks in the Netherlands.