Metrics

  • citations in SCIndeks: 0
  • citations in CrossRef:[2]
  • citations in Google Scholar:[]
  • visits in previous 30 days:11
  • full-text downloads in 30 days:9

Contents

article: 1 from 1714  
Back back to result list
2021, vol. 55, iss. 1, pp. 195-207
A capital contribution to the Serbian diaspora studies - Vladimir Grečić: Serbian creative intelligence in the diaspora, Matica srpska, Novi Sad, 2019
Univeristy of Niš, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Sociology

emailljubisa.mitrovic@filfak.ni.ac.rs
Keywords: scholarly research of diaspora; strategy and public policy regarding the diaspora; Serbia; Vladimir Grečić
Abstract
The paper presents a review of the studies in relation to the matter of external migrations conducted by Professor Vladimir Grečić and, in particular, his latest book Serbian Creative Intelligence in the Diaspora. The conclusion is that the value of this monograph is not only in its scholarly contribution to the perception of this important matter, but also in its relevance to the rational establishment of a strategy and upgrading of Serbia's public policy in the area of home country-diaspora relationship.

In contemporary science, there is a growing number of studies of the diaspora because the world, being affected by the global migrations process, has become diasporic. We are facing the phenomenon of a new wave or elite mobility, the holders of cognitive capital, or homo academicus. Among over 200 million migrants worldwide, there is an increasing number of students (mostly from China), but also highly-educated personnel forming new colonies of intellectual diaspora in the modern world. In the past three decades, they also included a large number of the citizens of Serbia and other countries formed by the break-up of Yugoslavia, as well as the Balkans on the whole.

As history shows, the Serbian nation is the "nation of migrations" (Crnjanski). Unfortunately, these processes are ongoing in the modern times too, while only the forms and causes of external migrations of our population change. The problems of migrations and our diaspora are the subject of both scholarly literature and fine writing in our country. However, the majority of books published about our diaspora belong to the journalistic genre. The scientist who has dealt with this matter in the longest period and most comprehensively is indisputably Vladimir Grečić, PhD, Full Professor at the Faculty of Economics, the University in Belgrade, and Principal Research Fellow of the Institute for International Politics and Economics.

There are few diligent scholars in our science like Professor Grečić, who has dedicated his whole professional career (from the choice of the topics of his master and doctoral theses, to numerous studies, monographs and research) to the exploration of the external migrations problem and Serbian diaspora. Namely, starting from his first article, "Yugoslav Labour Migration", published in journal Gledišta (Grečić, 1968), over his extensive oeuvre of more than 200 papers (41 of which are in foreign languages), there are about a dozen studies/monographs, most outstanding of which are: Modern Labour Migration in Europe (Grečić, 1975), Migration and Integration of Foreign Population (Grečić, 1989), All Serbs of the World (Grečić, Lopušina 1994), The Serbian Academic Diaspora (Institute for International Politics and Economics, Belgrade, 2010), The Serbian Academic Diaspora (Grečić, 2013), and the latest one, Serbian Creative Intelligence in the Diaspora (Grečić,2019). Owing to his high professionalism, Professor Grečić deserved numerous awards. He was UN Migration Expert, head of important projects financed by the Ministry of Science, as well as of international projects; he is a full member of the Serbian Academy of Economic Sciences and a member of the Serbian Scientific Society and SASA Population Study Committee. He has been granted a large number of awards, including the Charter of the Heritage Foundation of Serbia (2017) for his contribution to improving the society of Serbia and our people abroad. Setting the model of an exemplary scholar and researcher, as well as an active public worker, Professor Grečić confirms that retirement is not an obstacle to authors to continue their research, leaving the shining trail of spiritual light and indebting descendants with contributions.

Professor Grečić's latest study, Serbian Creative Intelligence in the Diaspora – necessity of cooperation between the home country and the diaspora (Grečić, 2019), represents to a certain extent the continuation of his research efforts published in the monograph The Serbian Academic Diaspora (Grečić, 2010). Structurally speaking, in its composition, apart from the foreword and concluding remarks, Grečić's study consists of twelve chapters: I Formation and development of Serbian communities in the diaspora; II Education and professional profile of Serbs in the diaspora: growing share of intellectual diaspora; III "Brain drain" and its effects; IV Creative potential of Serbs in the diaspora; V Scope of the Serbian diaspora: numbers and geographical distribution; VI Diaspora-theoretical considerations; VII Institutional framework of cooperation with the Serbian diaspora; VII Opportunities of talent engagement from the diaspora for the overall development of Serbia; IX Business connection of the home country and the diaspora; X Hierarchy of the Serbian diaspora contribution to the home country; XI Management of migrations and their effects; XII Necessity of a clearly defined policy of talent retention and attraction. Furthermore, the monograph is equipped with ample literature on this topic, mainly in foreign languages, with more than 220 bibliographical units; an overview entitled Who is Who in Serbian Scientific Diaspora? and the afterword consisting of the excerpts from reviews (written by Aleksandar Vlajković, Professor Mlađen Kovačević, PhD, Professor Blagoje Babić, PhD, and former Ambassador Dragomir Radenković, PhD). In addition, the book also contains the register of the authors' names and the note about this author.

From this rich and mosaic structure of the monograph, currently representing the most comprehensive and the best study of this kind in our country, written about Serbian creative intelligence in the diaspora, we will single out only several chapters as the subject of the review. However, we would first like to emphasize that the study is written with the strength of the monograph method, from a trans-disciplinary standpoint, with the intersection of numerous fields of scientific analysis: from historiographic-demographic, via economic-sociological, to culturological and politicological levels of the analysis. The author successfully combines the method of empirical analysis and theoretical synthetic generalization with the operationalization of the model for formulating a potential strategy and public policy for resolving key problems regarding modern-day relations of scientific cooperation between the home country and diaspora.

In Introductory considerations the author first indicates that, in the era of globalization and development of "knowledge economy", global talents as key innovative-developmental potential, are in the centre of the "war for talents" and, in that respect, the diaspora may serve as an important two-way factor of capital flow. Moreover, the author presents theoretical-methodological premises of the research subject, goals and task. Then he defines basic concepts (human capital, knowledge as a development factor, creativity, "brain drain", "influx of knowledge" etc.) and determines key problem fields of research (causes and consequences of "brain drain", business connection of the home country and its diaspora...).

The chapter Formation and development of Serbian communities in the diaspora gives a clear insight into the history of Serbian migrations from the 19 th century until now, with the indication of the basic causes of seven different migration waves of Serbs and their main destinations. As a matter of fact, the author focuses most on the galloping increase in migrations during the 1990s and the first two decades of the 21st century. This chapter contains an overview of the main causes of Serbian emigration: ranging from poverty, wars, political emigrations to the challenges of the contemporary globalization market and the shift in the labour demand profile (from manual industrial works/industrial proletariat to the bearers of intellectual work/intellectual proletariat/cognitariat).

In the second chapter, the author gives an overview of the "educational and professional profile of Serbs in the diaspora". Starting from the distinction between intellectuals and intelligentsia made by German sociologist Theodore Geiger, the author chooses to use the concept of Serbian creative intelligence in the diaspora as a more operational concept for the analysis than the phrase "intellectual diaspora". He points out that in the past two decades the share of highly-educated people in the total number of emigrants from Serbia has increased, and he gives an overview of the main destinations worldwide, while at the same time there is an increasing number of students from Serbia who study abroad. In the end, the author emphasizes that a growing number of highly-educated people from Serbia may be expected to look for employment in the European Union in the future.

The third chapter "Brain drain" and its effects initially considers the concept of the "brain drain" syntagm and various terminology related to this phenomenon. Then it gives an overview of the main factors (economic, political, social) leading to "brain drain" in modern times. Subsequently, there is a range of possible answers of the state authorities to the challenges imposed by "brain drain". The author particularly points to the implications of this problem: negative effects of "brain drain": tax revenue loss, loss of potential entrepreneurs, loss of innovative ideas, creative potentials for the development of economy, society and democratic processes. Moreover, he states the necessity of developing a methodology of collecting data, mapping structures and potentials of the new Serbian diaspora, as well as of redefining the policy of the state and other institutions in the country regarding the phenomenon of "brain drain", and measures that need to be implemented for alleviating the problem of talent emigration from the country. Within this context, the author particularly emphasizes the necessity of building institutions of democratic management of migration processes, as well as of creating a program of cooperation with emigrants from Serbia, their involvement in the home country's projects and cooperation in creative centres and scientific-technological parks.

The fourth chapter is dedicated to "creative potentials of Serbs in the diaspora". In it the author considers the intellectual potential of the large Serbian diaspora. It is estimated that the Serbian diaspora reaches the number of about 3.5 million people. Out of that number, about 1.5 million are Serbian nationals, and there is also a substantial number of people with dual citizenship. The author emphasizes controversies among researchers regarding the number of people in our diaspora, as well as the lack of information about the intellectual potential of the modern-day Serbian diaspora. Professor Grečić especially explores the numbers, structure and quality of the Serbian creative intelligence in the diaspora. According to the findings of Professor Jovan Filipović, PhD, the diaspora includes about 7,000 doctors of science. The greatest number of them lives and works in the USA (39%), Canada (15%), the United Kingdom (10%) and Germany (7%). In addition, the greatest number of "our" doctors of science in the diaspora works at universities (40%) and business companies (44%). The author primarily explores the causes and consequences of "brain drain" in the past three decades, pointing out that currently Serbia has power neither to retain nor to attract its runaway elite. Within this context, Professor Grečić is especially focused on the opportunities and forms of "influx of knowledge", either through the return of emigrant experts to the home country, or through their remote mobilization and engagement in the home country's development.

The monograph particularly emphasizes the necessity of establishing and developing institutional connections with Serbian experts in the diaspora in order to achieve knowledge circulation and make the Serbian academic community an important factor in the partnership between the main countries of emigration and Serbia. The author finishes this chapter by pointing out the necessity of building/establishing a permanent network of cooperation between the home country and Serbian intellectual diaspora, with the aim of using the complex organization of a virtual diaspora university (Filipović, 2012) for the national, regional and local development of Serbia.

The fifth chapter, Scope of the Serbian diaspora: numbers and geographical distribution, presents the analysis of Serbian migrations and the estimated number of the people in the Serbian diaspora throughout the world, by continents, regions and countries.

The sixth chapter explores theoretical considerations of basic modern concepts in trans-disciplinary issues in diaspora studies, which research complex phenomena in many sciences and disciplines (from demography and anthropology, via history and sociology, to economics, culturology and legal-political disciplines). This context points to the distinction between migrants and the diaspora, as well as various structural aspects and identity features of the diaspora and its potential for the development of modern economy and society. The focus is on the issue of cooperation between the home country and the Serbian diaspora.

The monograph's seventh chapter is dedicated to the matter of building an institutional framework for cooperation with the Serbian diaspora (strategic directions, normative regulation, dynamics of changing the institutional framework – achievements and limitations).

The eight chapter considers the opportunities of engaging talents from the diaspora for the overall development of Serbia. Here, special attention is dedicated to the matter of creating the environment for developing cooperation between the home country with the diaspora; identification of the first initiators and formation of joint teams; the role of the civil sector and media, importance of the support of the government bodies and the necessity of operationalization and specification of projects in the area of the diaspora-home country cooperation.

The ninth chapter treats the issues of business connecting of the home country and the diaspora. Starting from Naisbitt's megatrend universities and Castells's paradigm of the importance of networking for contemporary development, Professor Grečić explores the role of the form of business organization of the diaspora-home country cooperation (opportunities and limitations). Based on the empirical research, he indicates objections, proposals and suggestions of our people in the diaspora, what bothers them most in the home country's attitude to the diaspora, how to attach the diaspora more and how to facilitate the voting technology for Serbian nationals in the diaspora, how to improve the work of the Diaspora Assembly, how to create a more favourable investment environment for investing diaspora capital and how to improve the connection of the home country and the diaspora.

In the tenth chapter the author considers the importance and hierarchy of the forms of Serbian diaspora's contribution to the home country, with a particular overview of the role of the inflow of foreign currency remittances to the home country, direct investments by the diaspora members, donations of individuals, Serbian associations and organizations, transfer of knowledge and innovative networks, as well as contributions of individual to Serbia's reforms and development.

The monograph's eleventh chapter deals with the matter of managing modern migrations and their effects. Emphasizing that migration management has become one of the most prominent problems in national, regional and global policies, of the civil society, as well as of various groups of representation, Professor Grečić first considers three different approaches to the migration policy: from the option where migrations are moderately promoted as a key economic factor (which includes active promotion of labour); via legal migrations, which are regulated to a possible extent by immigration and bilateral quotas for certain countries and, finally, as an option of laissez-faire policy in this field. The author advocates building capacities of democratic migration management, which "implies the process of strengthening knowledge, abilities, skills, resources and processes needed by the countries and institutions for efficient and sustainable realization of established goals and for their adjustment to increasingly dynamic changes". Starting from the findings of foreign and domestic authors (Jovan Filipović, Mirjana Rašević, Olga Mitrović, Vladimir Stanković and others) and his own analyses and conclusions, the author emphasizes the need for increasing data quality about migrations and support to research institutions in this field; encouragement of the diaspora’s investments in the home country; encouragement of the diaspora’s transnational activities in Serbia; preparations for increasing immigration to Serbia (program of reintegration of returnees and foreigners, in order to enable the home country to use their potentials).

In the twelfth chapter the author explores the matter of necessary existence of a clearly defined policy of talent retention and attraction. Starting from the statement that “the time we live in imposes a fierce struggle among the countries in the area of global competition” (Grečić, 2019, p. 231), and that in the gray matter market there is an ongoing cruel “talent hunting” battle, Professor Grečić points out that today’s national interest is to active and mobilize the diaspora’s actors and capacities for national development projects. Nowadays the countries with the power of retaining and attracting talents ensure their development advantages and perspective. In that respect, the author considers the factors determining the capacities for talent retention, strengthening the capacities for attracting talents from the diaspora, the policy of encouraging Serbia’s capacities for innovations; the importance of developing projects for the diaspora’s investments in Serbian economy.

Concluding remarks give certain lessons for the future of Serbia. The starting point is the statement that we live in the global migration era, as well as that in recent history, for more than one century, Serbia has been chiefly the net emigration country. The author focuses on the causes and consequences of “brain drain” and the importance and role of circulation migration in relation to the home country’s development today. In that respect, he emphasizes the necessity of redefining the strategy of preserving and strengthening the connections between the home country and the diaspora, as well as between the home country and Serbs in the region, thus opening the opportunity for broader engagement of the diaspora in transfer of knowledge, with the aim of learning from the scholars in the diaspora and the developmental transnational progress of the home country. To that end, the author stresses the necessity of “engaging career-accomplished and talented people from the diaspora for the purpose of economic, social, cultural and any other development of Serbia”, the creation of a favourable environment and raising relevant capacities for talent retention and attraction; relevant bodies (government, universities, chambers, companies) should develop cooperation projects for the home country and the diaspora; encouraging the cooperation of researchers/scholars from the diaspora and the home country on joint projects. Furthermore, Serbia’s executive authorities should reconsider their policy of building institutional capacities for improving the cooperation with the diaspora (one of the measures, inter alia, is the re-establishment of the Ministry of the Diaspora as an umbrella coordinator of activities in this area…); networking and permanent cooperation of institutions from the home country and the diaspora organizations; larger investments in research and development of science in order to retain or attract our talents.

In the end, Professor Grečić finishes his monograph by pointing out that democratic management is the best solution to the “brain drain” problem (Grečić, 2019, p. 252). Only by relying on its best personnel – talents, and the strength of their cognitive and social capital, Serbia can increase the competitive power of its economy and the society’s democratic capacities for sustainable development, democratic transformation and progress.

With his overall works, and particularly his studies The Serbian Academic Diaspora (Grečić, 2010) and Serbian Creative Intelligence in the Diaspora (Grečić, 2019), Professor Vladimir Grečić, PhD, has indisputably made a capital contribution to the development of the Serbian diaspora studies. This author's most recent monograph deserves praise due to the achieved level of the trans-disciplinary approach in the empirical analysis, as well as the unique synthesis about this phenomenon in contemporary science. The value of this monograph does not lie only in its scholarly contribution, but also in its relevance to the rational establishment of a strategy and upgrading of the public policy in the field of the home country-diaspora relationship. Matica srpska as the eminent publisher also deserves gratitude for publishing this monograph because in that manner it continues affirming its role of a live bridge and a convocational factor in the cooperation between the home country and the diaspora.

References

Filipović, J. (2012). Management of a diaspora virtual university as a complex organization: Serbian diaspora virtual university: #an #emerging leadership of a nation. Saarbrücken, Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.
Grečić, V. (1968). Yugoslav labour migration. Gledišta, 2.
Grečić, V. (1975). Modern labor migration in Europe. Beograd: Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu.
Grečić, V. (1989). Migration and integration of foreign population. Beograd: Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu.
Grečić, V. (2010). Serbian academic diaspora. Beograd: Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu.
Grečić, V. (2013). The Serbian academic diaspora. Beograd: Institute of International Politics and Economics.
Grečić, V. (2019). Serbian creative intelligence in the diaspora. Novi Sad: Matica srpska.
Grečić, V., & Lopušina, M. (1994). All Serbs of the world. Beograd: IP Princip.
References
Filipović, J. (2012) Management of a diaspora virtual university as a complex organization: Serbian diaspora virtual university: #an #emerging leadership of a nation. Saarbrücken, Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing
Grečić, V. (1968) Yugoslav labour migration. Gledišta, 2
Grečić, V. (1975) Modern labor migration in Europe. Beograd: Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu, [In Serbian]
Grečić, V. (1989) Migration and integration of foreign population. Beograd: Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu, [In Serbian]
Grečić, V., Lopušina, M. (1994) All Serbs of the world. Beograd: IP Princip, [In Serbian]
Grečić, V. (2010) Serbian academic diaspora. Beograd: Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu, [In Serbian]
Grečić, V. (2013) The Serbian academic diaspora. Beograd: Institute of International Politics and Economics
Grečić, V. (2019) Serbian creative intelligence in the diaspora. Novi Sad: Matica srpska, [In Serbian]
 

About

article language: Serbian, English
document type: Opinion/Review
DOI: 10.5937/socpreg55-30944
received: 19/02/2021
accepted: 22/02/2021
published in SCIndeks: 16/04/2021
Creative Commons License 4.0

Related records

Nauka bezbednost policija (2015)
Migrations as reason for the political anomalies in Europe
Simeunović Dragan