Migration as a Translocal Process in EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood
(ESR 12; University of Warsaw)
Central and Eastern European countries on both sides of the European Union’s border constitute a region which was historically tightly knit and still represents relative homogeneity in cultural terms. In this context various forms of migration which have been identified as specific to the countries of the region, such as transborder migration, circular migration, or incomplete migration, have emerged over the past decades. However, the breakup of the Soviet Union and then the institutional divide created by EU enlargements of 2004 (specifically the accessions of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) and 2007 (accession of Romania and Bulgaria), and the 2007 eastward shift of the border of the Schengen Area have significantly altered the socio-political geography of mobility in the area. The contemporary status quo calls for reconceptualising notions which have been used to describe and understand migration flows within the region, and for proposing new theoretical and analytical approaches building upon rather recent advances in fields related to migration studies such as the New Economic Geography, New Institutional Economics or the New Economics of Labor Migration. Up to date research has not completed the identification of causes and consequences of international migration in this part of Europe from these perspectives while the region will be crucial in the nearest future as far as EU’s ageing and labor shortages are concerned. The proposed PhD project is to examine the translocality of contemporary mobility concerning states situated across the eastern border of the EU and to propose a modern understanding of intra-regional mobility which would provide future studies with substantial explanatory power. The scope of the doctoral research may include, but is not limited to examining: the features of regional migration related to mobility across legal environments, translocal migration patterns and their evolution over time and space, changes in forms of migrant activity across labor markets and mechanisms increasing the efficiency of labor allocation, transnational linkages between diasporas and stayers in the home communities and their role in the transfer of social and cultural remittances. Due to limitations of available data reflecting actual migration processes in the region, and the complex and intangible nature of migration processes such as transborder migration, circular migration, petty trade, or incomplete migration the research will require use of mixed methods. Taking advantage of both secondary and primary data sources should be considered if possible. Desk research concerning the diverse institutional settings between sending and receiving localities could outline the picture and shed light on the formal constraining and enabling legal mechanisms affecting the scope of migrant civic and economic activity. Analyses of secondary quantitative data from representative surveys or censuses in both the home and host countries would allow for an estimation of the scale of migration phenomena, and the recognition of general trends and patterns. Collecting project-related primary qualitative and quantitative data would enable in-depth exploration of the salient features of the translocal nature of regional migration flows.
Researcher: Olga Cojocaru (profile page)
Olga Cojocaru is a Research Assistant at Centre of Migration Research Warsaw under the framework of ITN Marie Curie TRANSMIC project where she works towards completing a PhD thesis. She holds a MA degree in Sociology from Central European University in Budapest and a MA in Cultural Anthropology from National School of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest. Her current research interests include temporalities of migration, transnational care, irregular migration and entrapment.