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Time and space in family migrant networks between Kosovo and western Europe
Carolin Leutloff-Grandits

The chapter analyses the shifting and layered temporalities within Kosovo-Albanians’ transnational family networks, illustrating both changing border regimes and divergent experiences and representations of border-crossing. The last three decades have entailed significant changes in Kosovo-Albanians’ past-future spatialities. Before 1989, many Kosovo-Albanians viewed migration to West Europe as temporary. After 1989, Kosovo’s ethnicised conflicts problematised the migrant’s ‘home-time’. Today, many migrants dismiss home-time as stagnant. They plan a future within the European Union for their children. Yet many also hope that their children will marry someone from home, in order to retain links with a static, idealised home, a time-space to which they themselves often hope to retire. Many villagers share at least part of this dream; they hope to flee stagnation and build a future abroad, a dream which, due to increasingly stringent entry regulations, is realised primarily through marriage migration. But marriage, in turn, is pre-eminently a village and family affair. Thus are the different time-space experiences of migrant and non-migrant re-synchronized through the strategies of transborder family networks. These times are brought into alignment, not least by the cyclical temporalities of family festivals (such as marriages) that draw migrants home.

in Migrating borders and moving times
Looking at marriage migration regimes in Austria and Germany through the perspective of women from rural Kosovo
Carolin Leutloff-Grandits

This chapter looks at the functioning and effects of border regimes in relation to marriage migration from rural Kosovo to Western Europe, and here especially to Germany and Austria, which restricted the opportunities for marriage migration considerably over recent years. The restrictions are based on gendered and ethnicised assumptions of marriage migration as being patriarchal and a threat to German and Austrian society. Shedding light on a rather unexplored perspective, the chapter focuses on young women in Kosovo’s south, who aim to move to Western Europe via marriage, and the barriers they meet and struggle to overcome. It explores how prospective migrants position themselves towards marriage migration, and how they experience the increasingly restrictive European border regime in terms of family and marriage migration. It furthermore questions the meaning of polity borders in such intimate realms as marriage. The chapter argues that with the new policies and measures concerning marriage migration, Western European states externalise their borders and put enormous pressure on prospective marriage migrants. These borders, partly gendered, can be bodily felt, often postpone migration, and may alienate partners. Contrary to the stated aims of such policies, these measures do not necessarily support women in their free choices in intimate realms, but interfere in intimacies and restrict their agency. Still, women also act as agents by relying on family support in order to realise their imaginations, or by choosing exit strategies when the pressure on them becomes too burdensome or realities are too far away from their imaginations.

in Intimacy and mobility in an era of hardening borders
The organisation of war-escalation in the Krajina region of Croatia 1990–91
Hannes Grandits
Carolin Leutloff

This chapter attempts to investigate the interplay between the hostile and threatening public discourses, the action of political leaders, and the subsequent violent events in the Serbo-Croatian conflict in the Krajina region in Croatia. Special attention was given to the changing interpretations of the threatening situation within the communities involved and to the role of institutional reform and institutional formation in the process of societal transformation. The leader-follower-oriented perspective was chosen to avoid the hypothesis that conflict escalation was inevitable. The analysis of the year before the outbreak of open war in June 1991 was sub-divided into three sections, focusing on distinct phases in the development. The sections were the popularisation and institutionalisation of national frontlines, the mobilisation for violent conflict resolution, and the importance of the potential of war.

in Potentials of disorder
Temporality and the crossing of borders in Europe

Migrating borders and moving times explores how crossing borders entails shifting time as well as changing geographical location. Space has long dominated the field of border studies, a prominence which the recent ‘spatial turn’ in social science has reinforced. This book challenges the classic analytical pre-eminence of ‘space’ by focusing on how ‘border time’ is shaped by, shapes and constitutes the borders themselves.

Using original field data from Israel, northern Europe and Europe's south-eastern borders (Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Sarajevo, Lesbos), our contributors explore ‘everyday forms of border temporality’ – the ways in which people through their temporal practices manage, shape, represent and constitute the borders across which they move or at which they are made to halt. In these accounts, which are based on fine-tuned ethnographic research sensitive to historical depth and wider political-economic context and transformation, ‘moving’ is understood not only as mobility but as affect, where borders become not just something to be ‘crossed’ but something that is emotionally experienced and ‘felt’.

Open Access (free)
Crossing borders, changing times
Madeleine Hurd
Hastings Donnan
, and
Carolin Leutloff-Grandits

This chapter introduces the relationship between borders and time, exploring this relationship through three interrelated themes: the time-spaces generated by polity borders, which construct notions of ‘us’ and ‘them’; the ways in which time features in the cross-border networks of migrants; and time in relation to the body itself as borders are shaped, felt, experienced and embodied. Outlining the arguments of the contributors, the chapter highlights how the spatial-temporal representations of borders generate hierarchies between ‘East’ and ‘West’, which change with time as borders are redrawn. Border crossing may lead to a temporal synchrony and disjuncture both within and beyond the borders, which shape the practical as well as the moral and emotional contexts in which cross-border migrants live their daily lives. The affective networks which migrants build up across borders may link, fragment or rupture ties between spouses, neighbours, friends and families. The chapter also shows how border crossing is a very bodily experience, as borders slow, impede or advance the traffic of bodies according to prevailing constellations of power and opportunities for individual agency.

in Migrating borders and moving times