Ethnogenese of Balkan and Iberian Peninsulas. Comparative Analysis

Vladimir Chukov , Juan Manuel Cabezas Lopez

The main goal of the proposed topic is construction of theoretical framework of migration processes and its corresponding socio-political system appropriate to both Balkan and Iberian Peninsulas. In attempting to summarize the leading objectives we mention the following:

I. A solid summarization of the main features of both Peninsulas' geohistorical context (respectively the similarities) is implemented through gaining into an insight the core-peryphery theory and through trying to be away from ancient and immobile geopolitical doctrines. 1 Obviously, principal characteristic of both regions is the peripheric status regarding to Europe. The last is explained by the following factors:

1. Historial conditions:
1.1. Border areas in relation to the European nucleous, Carlemagne Empire that was the first attempt for a paneuropean unification;
1.2. Regions were the Islamic world contacted with the Christianity during long historical periods : Iberian peninsula ( 7-15-th Centuries); Balkans ( 14-21-st Centuries) 2;
1.3. Objectively frontier zones of the European world 3 both Peninsulas were forced to contact with following human blocs:
1.3.1. The Maghrebian peoples who include the African immigrants from Maghreb and South Sahara countries nowadays;
1.3.2. The contact with the Turco-Tatar world created a lot of inner-frontier areas that correspond to the different communities: Croatians, Serbians, Montenegrins, Bosniaks, Pomacs, Bulgarians, Romanians, Albanians, Albano-Kosovars (a contemporary ethnogenesis created by the war), Macedonians, Greeks, etc... This circumstance explains the fact why predominantly the migration studies and researches of the Balkans academic institutions are still wrapped up by empirical arguments and did not leap up the national outlooks. As far as the similar studies in Catalonia and whole Spanish Kingdom are concerned we admit that the proposed project represents a serious step towards appropriate conceptual construction. As it is apparent from the cited bibliography that the empirical records within the Iberian migration studies also dominate over the conceptual works.

2. Geographical conditions:
2.1. Physical: Effective border zones of Europe (Southwestern and Southeastern corners);
2.2. Geopolitical: Long-term geohistorical conditions outside the central areas that join the economic and political power (Germany, U.K., France as well as Communist Russian-Soviet central zone during the Cold War). This situation entails:
2.2.1. Specifically social, cultural and economic conditions, deeply different from the European-core political culture and social prosperity standards (especially in the Balkans, but at some extent also in the Iberian societies);
2.2.2. Authoritarian - Totalitarian systems that, acting from a monolithical political thinking, tried to uniform the societies and the ethnocultural complex mosaic in order to impose the dominant group culture. Logically, migrations are viewed like dangerous and poisoned phenomens and factor for explosion of unprecedented inter-group intolerance as well as reason for creating empowered, discriminated and out-of-system populations.

II. Special and in-deep multi-level analysis of the genesis and structure of the multiethnic Balkan and Iberian societies will be provided. An attempt to draft some kind of "ethnic groups philosophy" will be implemented. 4 It is important to demonstrate a high level of ethnic complexity because it is a real challenge to analyse the migration processes' effects in non-monoethnic societes like( par example USA 5 and UK or at some extent France, Germany and Holland ).

We are keen to stress the dychotomic nature of both dictatorian and democratic regimes. The pluralistic societies are only possible in democratic-based political cultures. The migration processes must be redrived by the implementation of pluralistic political system resulting from democratic thinking dominance.

In regarding to the above mentioned, it is worth focusing on several examples:

Ethnic cleansing of the Spanish Kingdom: in 1492 - expulsion of the Jews settled in majority in the Balkans 6, in 1609 - expulsion of the Moorish, in 1640 and 1714 - ethnocide attempts against Catalan nation; 19-21-th Centuries - ethnocide policy against Catalan and Basque peoples, Franco and Salazar Racist and Fascist regimes ethnic violence, intolerant laws concerning migration in Spain, specially since 1996; insufficient political actions aimed to the integration of the migrant communities, policial and repressive tactics, etc...

Totalitarian regime of Ceaucescu (forced ressetlement of peasants in Transilvania), 1986-1989 "Revival Process" against the Turcs in Bulgaria, 1991-1999 Civil Wars anticipated by ethnic cleansing of Miloshevic's regime in Yugoslavia (Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo), 2000 - 2001 Civil War and exchanged ethnic cleansing throughout Macedonian territory, etc...

III. A comparative approach of both regions migration sources increases the width of the analysis and enriches the final conclusions. This part of the study remains the project core and acquires a high degree of innovative contribution.

1. Currently, the Iberian Peninsula registers a low level of internal migrations because all over the 20-th Century this type of processes were massive throughout Spanish Kingdom. In the mean time, the civil societies of Catalonia and Basque country digested these flows and they reinforced their own human bakground. Indeed, the modern Iberian societies remained an excellent sample on how a society may step towards an effective integration of migrant community through conservation and strengthening its internal structural nature. In the same time, there is a high-level of cross-border migration, which entailed important problems to the Iberian authorities as receiving countries of refugees of Africa, East Europe and Asia. We must gain into an insight the juridical, social, political and cultural conditions of the refugees' settlement in Spain (especially from Latin America, Algeria and East Europe (former Yugoslavia, Romania, Russia and Ukraine). It will be useful to search the particuar original cultures of the immigrated and refugees persons 7, and also the specific reception-land sociocultural and political features (Catalonia, Basque country, etc…).

2. The Balkan Peninsula remains still source of high-level both internal and cross-border migration. For sure, there is not a wide theoretical and formal discrepancy between both types because of the incertitude of the Yugoslavian Post-Totalitarian multi-State existence. At some extent, the ex-Yugoslavia initiated an unprecedented type of migration that we may characterize as "mixed". 8 So, it is quite difficult to classify the Croatian refugees' migration from Bosnia to the newly independent Croatian State (about 100 thousands), the Serbian refugees' migration from Bosnia to Yugoslavia (about 200 thousands), the Albanians from Kosovo to Albania and Macedonia (about 1 200 thousands), etc… The a.m. migration waves occurred throughout former Yugoslavia. Besides, these figures are approximate resulting from some refugees' turn back once the political climate had been improved.

In outline, the current migration processes in Macedonia and Bulgaria are strongly characterized as "internal" and respectively as "cross-border". The first case is held in a dynamic separation (migration) process of the local population based purely on ethnic criteria. The civil war speeded up the ongoing formal federalization process shaped as follow: the East corner settled by (Slavo)-Macedonians and the West corner settled by Albanians. In Bulgaria the migration acquires cross-border mark after the local Turkish community has been expelled during the so-called "Revival Process" (1986-1989). Annually, about 50-70 thousands Turks emigrate to Turkey resulting from Bulgarian shrinking situation.

IV. In conclusion, in attempting to summarize these samples, the complexe migration process has to be viewed, if well drived and ruled, as:

1. A natural human process that exists since the prehistorical times;

2. An injection of:

2.1.Human material that, if well integrated and respected, must be an essential ingredient for the lubrication of the cultural structure and the dynamisation of the society;

2.2. Symbolic potential capital settled in a specific ethnosphere. 9 The last remains in interaction / interrelation with a cultural ecosystem that differs from the original social environment and that created this symbolic capital. This fact had to be considered as an integrated system that, conserving or not its specific features, becomes an unitas multiplex among bigger united democratic society. 10

As far as the Balkan societies entered their transition way full of hardships the Iberian experience for building an appropriate theoretical model of internal consensus may be quite useful. Certainly, the wanted pattern has to be diversified because Iberian practice may not be considered as ethno-political panacea. 11 In aiming to change the inherited Totalitarian and highly centralized States in the Balkans as well as the homogeneous-aim perception of the local societies we'll focus on the following structuring components of migration process that need an obvious shift:

1. The territorial dimension is considered as one of the principal characteristics of the ongoing migration processes. In outline, each massive human movement may be explained within the twofold "reason-consequence" framework:

1.1. Predominantly, the internal migration is provoked by socio-economical reasons and it results to intensive urbanization process appropriate to the less developed economies and rural societies. Thus, we witness an establishment of hyperagglomerations such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Malaga, Murcia, Seville, Lisbon, Oporto etc…that attract the rural (unemployed) peripheries (especially Seville, Murcia, Lisbon, Oporto and Malaga) and also people coming from different Iberian ethnic communities (e.g.: Andalusians, Extremadurians and Murcians 12 in Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, Zaragoza and Valencia). It is worth adding the interesting and less known cases of old-refugees 13 groups that are still living in Spain. They are socially labeled as inferior strata/ethnic groups: Agotes (in Navarra [Basque Country]), Vaqueiros (in Asturias region, Northern Spanish Kingdom), Maragatos (Northwestern Spanish Kingdom), Pasiegos (Northern Spanish Kingdom). 14

Another distinguishable case is Gibraltar, an ancient British colony in Southern Iberian Peninsula. We witness an unprecedented political insularity as well as a long-term apportation and permanent mixture of immigrants' fluxes from different areas (Maltese, Arabs, Jews, Portuguese, Italians, Berbers, Andalusians, English, etc…). Currently, the appropriate ethnoestablishing process came into its end.

Another remarcable topic that certainly has to enrich the Iberian Peninsula analysis is Andorra, a tiny Catalan-speaking state placed in the heart of the Pyrinees mountains. Its society absorbed (and is still absorbing) immigration fluxes from Andalusia, Catalonia, Portugal, Galicia and Aragon.

The Balkans' examples are also convincing. The Balkan capitals Sofia, Belgrade, Skopje, Tirana and Bucharest (after the abolishment of the forced residence law inherited by the Communist civil law system) "absorbed" the unemployed and underdeveloped rural and small towns-population.

1.2. Predominantly, the cross-border migration is provoked by socio-political reasons and it results to internal social and often criminal problems for the receiving country. Spain and Turkey announced themselves as the principal refugees' receivers with the largest labor market. The a.m. States coupled the regional (geopolitical) with the economic leadership resulting from the high average economic growth. The economic indicators and figures would certainly enrich the cross-border migration processes. It means not only pointing to quantitative, but also to qualitative characteristics of the external emigrants.

2. The ethnic identity is the second mark of the Balkan and Iberian Peninsulas' migration processes. As far as both regions sheltered a wide scope of ethnic groups and communities and some of them succeeded in generating a sustainable Statehood tradition and in creating a propitious socio-economic background we witness an active ethnic-motivated migration. The ethnic identity mark remains so distinguishable as it had been politically institutionalized and socio-economically guaranteed. Logically, in practice all Catalans are concentrated in Northeast and East Iberian Peninsula, the Basques - in the Northern areas because the authonom status confirms their legal ethnic identity on political level. As a rule, Catalans, Basques, Galicians, etc… are not spread throughout all the country as the ethnic situation in the Balkans. Excepting Yugoslavia, all States voted Constitutions guaranteed Unitarian status of the State. Thus, the local ethnic groups migrated (gathered) in compact areas that often border the presumptive Motherland - (Turks in Bulgaria - in the Southeast, Bulgarians in Yugoslavia - in Northwest, Pomacs in Greece - in the Northeast [regarding to Turkey] and the North [regarding to Bulgaria], etc…) In the Balkans the a.m. ethnic enclaves are called "mixed regions".

The different level of the political democracy argues the diversification of the main instruments for ethnic minorities and the integrated refugees' political participation. Par example, in Iberian Peninsula the Constitution guarantees an authonome Parliament, government, etc… while in the Balkans the ethnic political parties remain the principal political actors.

3. The established frontier-system is the "lung" of the migration processes. The Iberian and Balkan Peninsulas are excellent samples of frontier-lands. Indeed, the Second World War drafted the European borders' map. In the mean time, a multitude of ethnic, demographic, social, historical and psychological facts was underestimated and ignored. In the Balkans the post-Cold war dynamics redrafted alternative borders' system oriented towards coincidence between external boundaries and the internal (ethnic or confessional) frontier.

4. The culture, the exchange of ideas and strengthening the civilization behavioral pattern remains factor of crucial significance for post-Cold war migration processes. Perhaps may we add also after the terrorist attacks on September 11 2001. Maybe it can be called "concealed" or "upper" migration unlike to the economic and political motivated migration. The big centers of spiritual modality generate absorbing impulses towards the intellectuals of the peripheral countries. As far as the Iberian Peninsula is concerned we witness Latino-predominantly Portuguese and Spanish speaking intellectuals (artists, writers, poets, scholars, etc…) gathered in Portugal and Spain, following up their pseudo-colonial instincts.

The same type of immigration is observed regarding to Turkey that became the asylum of many Turkic (Gercassians, Tartars, etc…) and Muslim (Bosniaks, Albanians, Pomaks, Gypsies, Alevies, etc…) intellectuals from the Balkan States. The similar process is available concerning the Macedonians settled in Bulgaria.



Note 1:We remain distant from the traditional (Ritter, Clausewitz, Schwind and Haushofer, ) geopolitic model that regards to the core and the periphery as immobile axes highly rooted in the hinterlands. We lean to the alternative theoretical point of view, proposed by Claude Raffestin.Back

Note 2:This point entails a clarification:

1) It is important to emphasize the chronological complementarism of these periods. When an Islamic (Arabic) rule was pushed out of the Iberian Peninsula, another (Ottoman) one started in the Balkans.

2) In addition, we underline the following differences:

(2.1) The inner cultural and geohistorical features of both Peninsulas,

(2.2.) The specifical structures of the Islamic-Christian contact and interfaith co-existance admissibility - Iberia: Sunni-Malekite with Catholic, while Balkans: Sunni-Hanafi with Orthodox,

(2.3) The Islamic rulers' political culture,

(2.4) The consecutive geoethnic distribution and settlement and its actual consequences in the sociocultural scenery.Back

Note 3:The specific type of frontier-contact zone is another item that makes the proposal innovative. We make our comparative analysis by taking into account the effective different nature of the societies and the States set up in both Peninsulas.Back

Note 4:A similar approach analysis is implemented in "Bulgarian Ethnic Model. A Pragmatic Version of Multiethnic Dialog", paper presented by Vladimir Chukov within the collective project "Democratic Governance in Multi-Ethnic Societies in Southeast Europe", in LGI, Central European University, Budapest, 2000-2001. See also Vladimir Chukov's interview "Bulgaria - Pass, Present and Multiethnic Future", published in Central Europe Review, 10.09.2001 as well as in Labor Party News and CIA bulletin. Currently, Vladimir Chukov is involved in projects with similar content in Ankara University (Turk Tarihi Degisi), Vienna Institute for Human Studies, European University Institute as well as several Bulgarian academic institutions like Sofia University, Varna Free University and New Bulgarian University.
Joan Manuel Cabezas Lopez is working very closely with Catalan institutions specialized in the migration field. He collaborates very tightly with the Social Welfare Department of Catalonian Government, the International Center for Ethnic and National Minorities (CIEMEN), the Center for Intercultural Studies (INTERCULTURA) as well as Barcelona University. He is in process of generalizing appropriate data (papers, articles and inquiring forms, open questionnaires, etc…) by aiming to summarize a new democratic paradigm of ethnic relations within local (Catalan, Spanish) and international context.Back

Note 5roperly speaking, USA or UK are multiethnic countries, but with not territorially-rooted ethnic systems. In the mean time, Catalans, Basques, Galicians, Andalusians, Bulgarians, Croatians, Serbians or Montenegrins are long-term ethnic groups (then, nations). It is really different, in scholar terms and in analisys perspective, to point to the imigration impact:
(1) In multiethnic regions with old ethnic systems well-settled in specifical homelands or:
(2) In pluriethnic societies with only one solid and territorialised ethnic nation (the Americans in the USA case, for instance).Back

Note 6:The Jews' expulsion remains one of the most challenging point for clarifying because the sole direct migration wave from Iberian to Balkan Peninsula was of the Spanish Jews, predominantly Sepharads. Logically, today a majority of the Balkan Jews are speaking Ladish, an old Spanish dialect, not Ivrit, the official language of the State of Israel.Back

Note 7:We aim to enlighten on the different origin cultures of the refugees as well as to analyze the specific relationship with the autochton society. Par exemple, it is important to take into account the different socio-symbolic worlds that are carried out by the immigrant communities (Latin-America [Caribean: Cuban, Dominicans, Venezuelan; Colombian; Peruvians-Equatorians; Argentinians-Uruguayans; Brasilian]; Maghreb [Algerians, Moroccans; Tunisians, Mauritanians; Arabs - Berbers]; Subsaharian Africa [mainly Senegalese and Gambians from different ethnic systems: Wolof, Manding, Fula, Serer, Diola, etc…; also people from former Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinea, mostly political refugees]; East Europe [Serbians, Croatians, Bosniaks, Albanians, Romanians, Russians, Ukranians, etc…].Back

Note 8:It started as internal (regarding to former big Yugoslavia) and ended as cross-border after its dismantlement. Thus, the Yugoslavian wars studies (religious studies, penetration of Islamic sects, Yugoslavian Ministry of Minorities' administrative acts, etc…) developed by scholars of Yugoslavian Academy of Science would also be very useful for the proposed project.Back

Note 9:The term "ethnosphere" is innovative notion of Joan Manuel Cabezas' doctoral thesis. He admitted that the ethnic group is not a closed system, but an open structure. It takes its specifical features and its differentiation regarding to the relations that it established with the neighbours in their creative (first ethnogenesis) process and during its periodical reestructurations (ongoing ethnogenesis).Back

Note 10:United, but not unificated, because "unificated" is synonymic to "uniformization", "homogeneization" and in the same semantic field to "ethnocide". An unity is united because of its differences, not in spite of its differences. This is another important point related to the modern Minority Studies (especially focusing on the Human rights protection and European standards implementation) that we aim to deepen in our research.Back

Note 11:The ethnic situation in Spain (properly speaking, the Spanish Kingdom: Reino de Espana is the official name of the State) has to be considered with criticism because of the centralist character of the Spanish government. In Catalonia, par example, there is a clear athmosphere of Spanish domination and in the Basque country the situation is really complicated.Back

Note 12:As a matter of fact, there is no clear and unilinial criterium regarding to a closed and reificated ethnonational taxonomy in the Iberian Peninsula, but we must do an attempt to classify the historically-rooted ethnic grups: Spaniards (namely: Castilians); Portuguese; Mirandese (Northeastern Portugal); Sanabrese (Northwestern Spanish Kingdom); Galicians; Basques (internally differentiated into six main groups: Bizkaians, Gipuzkoans, Arabans, Lapurdians, Navarrians and Behera Navarrians); Asturians (Northern Spanish Kingdom); Catalans (including the main population of Valencia and Balearic Islands); Aragonese (Northeastern Spanish Kingdom); Murcian (Southeastern Spanish Kingdom); Extremadurian (Southwestern Spanish Kingdom); Andalusian (Southern Spanish Kingdom).Back

Note 13:Another interesting and untill now, not truly investigated case is the Moorish refugees. This community inhabited the really restricted areas of the Iberian Peninsula (mainly Aragon, Valencia, Southern Catalonia, Eastern Andalusia and rural areas of Inner Spain) after the Reconquista ending (1492) and until their expulsion in 1609-1610.Back

Note 14:Indeed, the traditional knowledge system talks about the origin of these groups. Pasiegos, Vaqueiros and Maragats are said to be descendants of Jews or Moorish; Agotes, of Moorish or heretics from Southern France. Frankly speaking, the real origin must be combination between popular ideas and real processes of social exclusion that trasformed these communities in true refugees.Back