Marginalization Between Border and Metropolis: Drivers of Socio-Spatial Change in Post-socialist Croatia
Authors: Cvitanovic, M. and Fuerst-Bjeliš, B.
Editors: Pelc, S. and Koderman, M.
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
As a characteristic, geographic marginalization is not static in space and time; socio-economic changes such as globalization, deindustrialization, or economic transition can cause profound and heterogeneous changes, benefiting certain areas while creating disadvantages for others. Therefore, the study of geographic marginalization during periods of rapid societal, economic, and institutional changes, such as post-socialist transitions, can offer new insights into this characteristic of geographic marginality. This study deals with a traditionally agricultural region in Northern Croatia (Hrvatsko Zagorje) during the post-socialist period of 1991–2011. The region is located near Zagreb, the capital and hub of Croatia, and is simultaneously a peripheral region bordering the Republic of Slovenia. The research is focused on changes in settlement patterns and changes in agriculture as an important livelihood strategy, all within the framework of geographic marginalization. The research is based on a mixed methodology, combining remote sensing analysis of satellite imagery, regression analysis, and a household questionnaire survey. The results have shown that the processes of population ageing, changes in education structure, population density, and employment have affected settlement patterns and agricultural land use differently in different parts of the region. Areas further away from Zagreb or other main market centers, further away from major traffic junctions, in higher altitudes, or close to the (newly-formed) international border with Slovenia, have mostly demonstrated negative socio-economic trends, while urbanized areas in lowlands, further away from the international border and with better traffic connections to Zagreb, have shown comparatively more positive socio-economic trends.