S. A. Gorokhov, M. M. Agafoshin, R. V. Dmitriev. Migration Management in the Western Balkan Region: The Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina

UDК 325.1(1-924.57)

doi: 10.15507/2413-1407.125.031.202304.618-633


Introduction. For centuries, the Western Balkan region has been actively involved in international migration processes, mainly generating flows of migrants to other states. The European migration crisis has led to the region has become one of the main hub of transit migration from Asia and Africa to the European Union states. The European Union – a global center of gravity for migrants implement an active migration management policy in the region. The purpose of the article is to identify the impact of European Union policy towards the Western Balkans on the development of the migration crisis in the region as a whole and in Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular.

Materials and Methods. The study is based on statistical materials on migration of international and regional organizations. The analysis of the features of political regulation of migration in the region is carried out on systematic approach and content analysis of numerous declarations and treaties, as well as published scientific research.

Results. The study revealed that the externalization and securitization of migration policy carried out by the European Union leads to an aggravation of the crisis in the Western Balkans, which are actually turning into a buffer zone for deterring and filtering migrants. The strengthening of migration and border control in the region has led to the diversification of migration flows; as a result Bosnia and Herzegovina has become one of the main centers of transit migration.

Discussion and Conclusion. Bosnia and Herzegovina, following the course of joining the European Union, systematically takes all imposed decisions in the field of migration management. However, these deals lead to an increase in migration pressure on the country that it is not prepared due to its internal political and economic problems. Contradictions between the central and regional authorities of the country in fundamental issues of migration policy reinforce the tendencies towards its disintegration. Data on the scale of migration in the region, its analysis and conclusions on the principles of European Union migration policy will be useful to researchers in the field of migration processes, and can be used by government agencies for developing a Russian strategy for managing immigration processes.

Keywords: Western Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina, European Union, migration, European migration crisis, migration policy, externalization, securitization

Conflict of interests. The authors declare that there is not conflict of interest.

Funding. The research was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, grant No. 22-18-00123.

For citation: Gorokhov S.A., Agafoshin M.M., Dmitriev R.V. Migration Management in the Western Balkan Region: The Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russian Journal of Regional Studies. 2023;31(4):618–633. https://doi.org/10.15507/2413-1407.125.031.202304.618-633


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Received 14.06.2023; revised 04.09.2023; accepted 13.09.2023.

About the authors:

Stanislav A. Gorokhov, Dr. Sci. (Geogr.), Leading Scientific Researcher, Centre for Global and Strategic Studies, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (30/1 Spiridonovka St., Moscow 123001, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9984-6054, Researcher ID: S-7991-2017, Scopus ID: 55905234500, stgorohov@yandex.ru

Maksim M. Agafoshin, Cand. Sci (Geogr.), Senior Scientific Researcher, Centre for Global and Strategic Studies, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (30/1 Spiridonovka St., Moscow 123001, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0245-0481, Researcher ID: ABG-6617-2020, Scopus ID: 57218825453, agafoshinmm@gmail.com

Ruslan V. Dmitriev, Dr. Sci. (Geogr.), Deputy Director, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (30/1 Spiridonovka St., Moscow 123001, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4018-9832, Researcher ID: M-9498-2013, Scopus ID: 57189906790, dmitrievrv@yandex.ru

Contribution of the authors:

S. A. Gorokhov – formulation of the basic concept of the article and choice of the research methodology; preparation of the initial version of the text.

M. M. Agafoshin – data collection and analysis; structuring and analysis of the obtained results; writing the text of the article.

R. V. Dmitriev – structuring and analysis of the obtained results; writing the text of the article.

The authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

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