• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Migration studies, 2020

Seminar "Migration studies" (Higher School of Economics) is designed as a platform for presentation by scholars engaged in migration studies their academic research, as well as for the discussion among experts. The seminar is focused on an interdisciplinary approach and unites specialists from different fields: economists, sociologists, geographers, historians, anthropologists who deal with this problem. The seminar is open not only for academics, but also for all those interested in the migration studies.

Seminar Organizer: Ekaterina Demintseva, e-mail: edemintseva@hse.ru


On December 22, 2020 an on-line session of the regular seminar "Migration studies" organized by the Higher School of Economics Institute of Social Policy was held. Nadezhda Zamyatina, Leading Researcher at the Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University Lomonosov, Ruslan Goncharov, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Urban and Regional Development of the A.A. Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism, Higher School of Economics "Arctic migrations"

The presentation is devoted to the specifities of migration flows between the South and North of Russia. The Arctic is a region with a high migration mobility of the population.

The Russian Arctic is more “urban”, so the migration situation here is different. There is a widespread belief that people come to the Arctic when they are young and leave when they are older. However, upon closer examination, the situation is much more complex and resembles "distributed" life than clear migration flows.

The Arctic is intensively exchanging migrants with a limited set of territories associated with the Arctic partner-territories by a whole network of social and organizational factors that facilitate migration and other interactions. In fact, we are dealing with an agglomeration effect, but not in one place, as is usual, but in space: a specific “agglomeration of flows” is obtained.


On  November 19, 2020 an on-line session held of the regular seminar "Migration studies" organized by the Higher School of Economics Institute of Social Policy. Konstantin Grigorichev, Vice-Rector for Research and International Affairs, Irkutsk State University, Head of the Laboratory of Historical and Political Demography, Irkutsk State University "From shadow to shadow: transnational migrants in the process of re-development of remote regions of Siberia".

In field research 2018-2019 cases of re-development of abandoned settlements in remote areas that do not have year-round transport links were found. The presentation will focus on a case in the Irkutsk region, in which a large estate of a wealthy city dweller was discovered in a similar "abandoned" settlement, where the main permanent residents are members of a family of migrants from Uzbekistan who have experience of undocumented residence in Russia. The settlement is located in the taiga at a distance of about 100 km from the nearest road and about 140 km from the local center, has no central power supply. Serving the manor built here, migrants, on the one hand, retain the low social status of semi-legal foreign workers and are dependent on their employers. On the other hand, they, in fact, find themselves in a frontier situation that allows them to remain out of the reach of government institutions and their regulatory functions. 

On  June 18, 2020  an on-line session held of the regular seminar "Migration studies" organized by the Higher School of Economics Institute of Social Policy and Oxfam. Dr Irina Kuznetsova, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom "Refugees from Ukraine: the diversity of everyday experiences and borders"

Drawing upon the conceptual framework of everyday life de Certeau, Lefebvre) and intersectionality (Anthias, Yuval-Davis, Crenshaw), the seminar focusses on the diversity of lived experiences, and everyday lives, of refugees from south-east Ukraine. On the basis of interviews with displaced people, NGOs and migration experts, the article article does not employ a formal definition of ‘refugee’, but instead relies on the self-identification of people as a refugee. With a lack of institutional support available to respond to the social needs, and issues around their legal status, informal networks became crucial for the sharing of knowledge and support for all aspects of refugees’ lives. From an intersectional point of view, elderly people are in a very vulnerable situation, especially those who do not have the necessary resources needed for coping with forced displacement and the search for legal status. Furthermore, many refugees have to cope with mental health issues. Also, based on the conceptual framework of the modalities of technical landscapes of social control and discursive landscapes of social power (Paasi 2009, 2013), we study how the uncertainty in a status of Ukrainian refugees in 2014-2018 impacted upon their everyday lives.

Discussant: Dr Natalya Khodyreva, Faculty of Psychology, Saint-Petersburg State University

Time:    from 3pm to 5 pm (Moscow time)

Language:    Russian

To receive a link for connection please register before June 17, 2020 via email: mig.seminar2016@yandex.ru.


On May 14, 2020 an on-line session held of the regular seminar "Migration studies"organized by the Higher School of Economics Institute of Social Policy

Yu. Florinskaya, Ph.D. in Geography, Senior Researcher at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration N. Mkrtchyan, Ph.D. in Geography, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Demography, Higher School of Economics “Migration in small and medium-sized Russian cities – the main trajectories and unresolved issues”

The population of small and medium-sized cities in Russia is steadily declining as a result of migration. There are several main migration paths: 1) leaving for study after graduating from high school (and, less often, after graduating from grade 9); 2) leaving at an older age; 3) leaving at retirement age (to live with one’s children); 4) leaving for temporary work (rotation shift work).

At the same time, these cities are migration destinations for newcomers from neighboring rural and even smaller urban settlements, which to some extent compensates the outflow of residents. 
After studying in large cities, only a small proportion of “study migrants” return home, but such instances are not negligible in number. Is this a consequence of personal failure, the falling through of their previous plans, or, perhaps, a predetermined strategy? Will the exodus of people from small towns for rotation shift work continue at a relatively high level, or will this strategy cease to be relevant in the future?


On April 16, 2020 on-line  session of the regular seminar "Migration studies" organized by the Higher School of Economics Institute of Social Policy: “Navruz at VDNKh: immigrants from Central Asia in the cultural infrastructure of Moscow”, Mark Simon (MSSES, RANEPA) was held. 

Studies on the impact of migration on the cultural industry of large cities occupies a prominent place in contemporary European social anthropology. Under the conditions of transnationalism, references to the ‘dominant’ (national or local) tradition are being replaced by another discourse.  A discourse of plural heritages, the exchange between which is represented by cultural brokers as a public good. In Russia, we witness a certain gap in the study of urban multicultural ‘machineries’. There are studies on leisure practices and the cultural consumption of migrants, yet the topic of public representation of cultural diversity, associated with migration, remains a sort of ‘terra incognita’ for the social sciences.

The paper presents the first results of a field study on the presence of immigrants from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the cultural infrastructure of Moscow. The choice of these three countries of origin is justified by the fact that they have comprised one of the key ‘migration donors’ for Russia in the last two decades, though their ‘cultural heritage’ remains poorly institutionalized in the largest Russian cities. Moreover, public events in which the representatives of these countries take part – e.g. city festivals and holidays – often ignore the topic of labor migration, focusing primarily on the activity of the so-called ‘diasporas’.

The author attempted to demonstrate various institutional forms of public representation of Central Asians at first approximation – from the vertical, built on the basis of ‘national policy’ structures – to the horizontal. The latter include grassroots activities of immigrants from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan – amateur theater, dance and music collectives, KVN and poetry readings. We will try to trace which platforms mediate such activities; what social networks are morphed around these platforms; and how the participants understand the institutional rules of the “game” they are playing.

The main research question of this paper is as follows: how is the Soviet cultural heritage reassembled in the vertical and horizontal forms of public (self-) presentation under examination?



Have you spotted a typo?
Highlight it, click Ctrl+Enter and send us a message. Thank you for your help!
To be used only for spelling or punctuation mistakes.