Humanities and Social Sciences

Central Eastern European Migration Review


Central Eastern European Migration Review | 2020 | vol. 9 | No 2 |

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This article focuses on the interrelationship between homeland and diaspora at times of crisis. It adopts a comparative lens to look into diasporic (dis)engagement with the homeland, specifically analysing the cases of Greece and Ukraine. The main research issues are how crises affect the engagement between homeland and diaspora – taking Greece and Ukraine as case studies – and which the defining contextual factors are that transform the diaspora engagement. The article unpacks the homeland–diaspora nexus concerning two states with different socio-political backgrounds, both going through severe political and economic crises. In so doing, the article gives prominence to the differentiation between the en-gagement of the two different diasporas with their home countries at times of crisis. Evidence suggests substantial engagement in the Ukrainian case while, in the Greek case, a more mixed attitude – leaning towards disengagement – is apparent.

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Authors and Affiliations

Foteini Kalantzi
Iryna Lapshyna
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This paper analyses diaspora advocacy on behalf of Ukraine as practiced by a particular diaspora group, Ukrainian Canadians, in a period of high volatility in Ukraine: from the EuroMaidan protests to the Russian invasion of Eastern Ukraine. This article seeks to add to the debate on how conflict in the homeland affects a diaspora’s mobilisation and advocacy patterns. I argue that the Maidan and the war played an important role not only in mobilising and uniting disparate diaspora communities in Canada but also in producing new advocacy strategies and increasing the diaspora’s political visibility. The paper begins by mapping out the diaspora players engaged in pro-Ukraine advocacy in Canada. It is followed by an analysis of the diaspora’s patterns of mobilisation and a discussion of actual advocacy outcomes. The second part of the paper inves-tigates successes in the diaspora’s post-Maidan communication strategies. Evidence indicates that the dias-pora’s advocacy from Canada not only brought much-needed assistance to Ukraine but also contributed to strengthening its own image as an influential player. Finally, the paper suggests that political events in the homeland can serve as a mobilising factor but produce effective advocacy only when a diaspora has already achieved a high level of organisational capacity and created well-established channels via which to lobby for homeland interests.

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Klavdia Tatar
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Based on 25 interviews with high-skilled migrants, this article examines the migration of IT profession-als from Ukraine in Australia. Their migration experience – identified as ‘migration for achievement’ – is examined in three ways. First, the article sets out the structural context for migration and the formation of the achievement life strategy: (1) the emergence and growth of the IT industry in Ukraine, in combination with (2) shifts in Australian migration policy triggered by the growth of the innovation economy and demand for highly skilled migrants. Second, it examines migration decision-making and the individual motivations, values, aims and agency of migrants. Third, the article explores how achievement life strategies are recreated or transformed after migration by looking into the migrants’ adaptation, occupational outcomes, language and national identity, future plans and aspirations. The narratives of the ‘achievement migrants’ in Australia form a story of well-integrated members of Australian society and active agents of social and economic life. Given their capacity to successfully main-tain their social and economic status after migration, along with their positive contributions to Australian society in terms of social cohesion, innovation and economic production, this group can be considered a ‘brain-gain’ for Australia.

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Olga Oleinikova
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Recent research has reported that an increasing number of migrants in Norway are concentrated in the low-skilled sectors of the labour market, irrespective of their educational background, thus facilitating the formation of migrant niches in the long term. Despite the growing body of literature that raises the problem of downward professional mobility and deskilling among migrant populations, little scholarly attention has been paid to migrants’ struggles and vulnerabilities as a result of underemployment. Drawing on 30 in-depth interviews, this article explores the common experience of habitus mismatch and suffering among Poles who have worked below their level of competence or professional experience since migrating to Norway. By an-alysing subjective experiences of downward professional and social mobility and the conflict between valued and stigmatised identities, the article examines the various habitus mismatches that contribute to suffering in downwardly mobile Polish migrants.

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Anna Przybyszewska
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To date, the literature on gender and migration continues a longstanding bias towards female over male experiences. Similarly, research on Polish post-EU accession emigration has not sufficiently addressed the male experiences of migration. Drawing on 20 interviews with migrant men, this paper contributes to the existing research on the variety of masculinity practices and gendered migration from the Central and East-ern Europe. In so doing, it focuses on the relationship between masculinity, religion and migration in the context of migration from Poland to the UK. While religion is also rarely addressed in discussions on the post-EU accession migration of Poles, it proves to be important in shaping world views and influencing migrants’ positionalities in the new social context. Indeed, in migrants’ narratives, gender, religion and the nation intertwine with one another. Analysis shows how certain aspects of men’s social identities that were originally assets turn into burdens and how the men reach to religion, while distance from the institutional Church, to renegotiate their new positionality in order to avoid denigration or to support social recognition – which is especially important in the social reality shaped by Brexit.

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Kamila Fiałkowska
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This article is devoted to contemporary return migrations by Kazakhs – a process of great significance for the population and cultural policies of the government of independent Kazakhstan. I examine the repatriation process of the Kazakh population from the point of view of the cultural transformations of Kazakh society itself, unveiling the intended and unintended effects of these return migrations. The case of the Kazakh returns is a historically unique phenomenon, yet it provides data permitting the formulation of broader generalisa-tions. It illustrates the dual impact of culturally different environments, which leads to a simultaneous pre-serving and changing of the culture of the new immigrants. The analyses found in this article are based upon data collected during two periods of fieldwork conducted in June–July 2016 and March 2018 at several locations in Kazakhstan and in cooperation with a Kazakh university. The research methodology is anchored in multi-sited, multi-year fieldwork.

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Ewa Nowicka
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Ukraine remains today one of the main migrant sending countries in Europe, with thousands of Ukrainians working in Czechia, Italy, Poland and Russia. In this regard, Ukraine shares the previous experience of Central European countries such as the Baltic States, Poland and Slovakia, that in the 1990s and early 2000s registered first temporary, and later permanent, outflows. In more recent years, however, many Central and Eastern European countries started to register increasing numbers of immigrants and some of them have switched from net sending to net receiving migration regimes. The objective of this article is to discuss the possibility of a similar turnaround in Ukraine; to this end, we investigate the main quantitative data on mi-gration from and to Ukraine, and interpret this information in the light of selected theoretical approaches that have been used to explain migration in Central and Eastern Europe. The available data reveal high levels of labour emigration of both temporary and permanent character, the increasing propensity of mi-grants to settle down in the host countries, and the growing involvement of the youngest cohorts in the emi-gration. Despite this evidence we argue that the current situation by no means constitutes a premise for reversing the outflow from Ukraine. We conclude that the most recent improvements in general economic indicators will not lead to high levels of immigration without an active labour market policy towards foreigners.

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Authors and Affiliations

Hanna Vakhitova
Agnieszka Fihel

Editorial office


Marek Okólski (Uniwersytet Warszawski, Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej)
Olga Chudinovskikh (Moscow State Lomonosow University, Higher School of Economics)
Barbara Dietz (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))
Boris Divinský (Bratislava)
Dušan Drbohlav (Charles University in Prague)
Elżbieta Goździak (Georgetown University, Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza)
Agnes Hars (KOPINT-TARKI Economic Research Institute Ltd)
Romuald Jończy (Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny we Wrocławiu)
Paweł Kaczmarczyk (Uniwersytet Warszawski)
Olga Kupets (National University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’)
Solange Maslowski (Charles University in Prague)
Ewa Morawska (University of Essex)
Mirjana Morokvasic (University Paris X-Nanterre, Institute for Social Sciences of Politics in Paris)
Jan Pakulski (University of Tasmania, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia)
Dorota Praszałowicz (Uniwersytet Jagielloński)
Krystyna Romaniszyn (Uniwersytet Jagielloński)
John Salt (University College London)
Dumitru Sandu (University of Bucharest)
Krystyna Slany (Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza)
Dariusz Stola (Polska Akademia Nauk, Collegium Civitas)
Cezary Żołędowski (Uniwersytet Warszawski)


Aleksandra Grzymała-Kazłowska (Uniwersytet Warszawski) - redaktor naczelny
Piotr Koryś (Uniwersytet Warszawski)
Yana Leontiyeva (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)
Magdalena Lesińska (Uniwersytet Warszawski)
Stefan Markowski (University of New South Wales in Australia)
Justyna Nakonieczna (Uniwersytet Warszawski)
Joanna Nestorowicz (Uniwersytet Warszawski)
Aneta Piekut (University of Sheffield)
Paolo Ruspini (International Migration University of Lugano)
Brygida Solga (Politechnika Opolska)
Paweł Strzelecki (Szkoła Główna Handlowa)
Anne White (University of Bath)
Renata Stefańska (Uniwersytet Warszawski) - sekretarz Redakcji



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Stola D. (1998). Migrations in Central and Eastern Europe. International Migration Review 32(124): 1069-1072.

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Piekut A., Rees P., Valentine G., Kupiszewski M. (in print). Multidimensional diversity in two European cities: thinking beyond ethnicity. Environment and Planning A.

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Górny A. (2005). New phenomena and old legislation: regulations regarding the acquisition of citizenship in Poland. Online: (accessed: 21 January 2013).

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