Conference

 “Twenty five years later (1991–2016): between Soviet past and unclear European and Eurasian future”

25-27 November 2016

Budapest (Hungary)

Organized by Post-Soviet Migration and Security Project (Central European University, Budapest)

together with Russian Academy of Science (Moscow), European University (St. Petersburg), National Institute for Strategic studies (Kiev), Center of Migration Research (Moscow)

Call for papers

Collapse of the socialist system was definitely a key event of the XX century for Central and Eastern Europe. It was accompanied by the enthusiasm and high aspirations of unity after the fall of the iron curtain for the people across Europe. The expectations and hopes of a bright future mitigated the shock that occurred from economic transition and massive waves of displaced people. The inclusion of the new independent states into the global and regional migration processes makes them a source and recipient of different groups of migrants (labor, education, asylum and so on). New 27 independent states and at least 5 unrecognized countries that emerged after the collapse of the socialist system, have specific relationships, both among themselves and with the EU.

Many CEE countries - former allies of the Soviet regime- turned in the direction of the European values. Others, torn by domestic turmoil and economic hardships have tried to capitalize their location «in between». Third group of countries, having their own resources tried to build indigenous models of the nation-state. That is why the migration processes in every country have been peculiar and sensitive to both Russian and the EU migration policies. Nevertheless, they revealed a great constancy of the main migration flows, directed from fSU states towards Russia as the former metropolis for the repatriation and labor migration reasons.

In the 2000s labor migration had softened the crisis of transition period for all post-soviet countries, however, it provoked emergence of new diasporas in both Russia and EU. fSU countries of “in between” group have been characterized by the massive migration flows towards both directions  (EU and Russia). In addition to migration problems the transformation of identity became even more painful than the economic transition.

The EU strategy of enlargement was accompanied by the Eastern Neighborhood policy. The aim was to build a “circle of friends”. These two policies again changed the European migration space, increasing the mobility of the population from East to West. However, a greater migration control in relation to third countries nationals was established and it has further transformed migration flows between the EU and fSU countries.

The division of some fSU countries towards a European-style democracy, put a cleavage between them and countries led by Russia. It has also split them politically into “us” and “them”. This decision was reflected in economic, political and migration regulations. It provoked conflicts in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and resulted in the new flows of refugees, IDP and labor migrants in different directions.  

In addition to the economic crisis, the demographic crisis in majority of EU and fSU European countries formulated their competition for the labor resources. The ethnization of migration policy in the neighboring EU New Member States and Russia stimulated also additional flows of compatriots to these countries. However, the rapid growth of ethnic diversity induced by the new diasporas leads to a change in the political, economic and ethnic situation. Xenophobia (in particular Islamofobia) creates internal tensions in the host communities and requires new mechanisms for migration management in all recipient countries. Media and politicians contributed to migrantofobia to high degree in EU and fSU countries as well.

But the myth of the EU’s arrangement of visa-free travel continues to be a carrot for some fSU states. The small countries like Moldova and Georgia finally got their prize of free visa regime. But several European countries have already reimposed border controls to protect themselves from the flows of refugees and migrants. The EU “circle of friends” finally turned in to the zone of constant instability. The massive flows of refugees again become the problem for the European space. Every third fSU country faces unsolved ethnic conflicts, problems of refugees and IDP.

Both unions now have suffered from the similar sicknesses: refugee and demographic crisis, economic uncertainties, rise of migrantofobia, and lack of coherence among their member states and future prospects of interrelations should be an important issue for the European development.

The aim of conference is to provide a platform for the discussion on the following issues:

  1. How different political unions (EU, CIS and Eurasian union) influenced the past, present and possible future migration flows in the region?  What kind of factors influenced the migration flows for particular countries of fSU during the 25 years following the collapse of the Soviet Union?
  2. To what extent historical relations and memories affect migration flows in the region and influence formation of quasi-states? 
  3. How migration policy and relevant legislation has been developed for managing migration in different fSU countries and how it was transformed by EU and Russia migration legislation?
  4. Refugee crisis in Europe: lessons of 25 years and historical perspective.  What are the consequences for the European countries? Changes in social attitudes and practices of solidarity concerning immigrants and asylum seekers in EU (including Visegrad 4 countries) and fSU countries.
  5. Labour migration in post-soviet Europe: main flows, migration potential, possible consequences and lessons; what is the context of regional integration in different European regions;
  6. Effect of visa-free borders, deficient migration administration and the economic crisis. Future prospects of labour flows’ directions and intensity; “Brain drain” East-West: Intellectual migration - post-socialist countries in a battle for talent. 
  7. "New” and “old” Diasporas" in EU and fSU countries after the collapse of socialism: integration or exclusion? Formation of the new and maintaining of old identities in the new diasporas;
  8. Ethnisation of migration policy; Repatriation and compatriots’ policy in fSU and NMS countries. The governments', public's and Media's perceptions of migration flows and migrantofobia: changes of discourses in the fSU and EU states.
  9. Open or closed borders between Schengen and non-Schengen countries of Eastern neighborhood. Transformation of the European border control.
  10. Transit migration. Neighborhood policy: the ‘circle of friends’ or zone of instability?  The main directions of immigration policy’s development in the countries of EU in context of Eastern Neighborhood.

Selected articles will be published in the journal “Contemporary Migration Studies” (Netherlands), "Migration and ethnic themes" (Croatia), “Diaspora” journal (Russia) as well as in the journal "Migration" (Tbilisi University, Georgia), and in the pages of the weekly electronic journal “Demoscope” (Russia).

We invite you to participate in the conference by sending abstracts not exceeding 350 words and short CV (200 words) by 15 July 2016

The confirmation for the selected abstracts will be by 30 July 2016

The submission of papers up to 7 000 words have to be done by 1 November 2016

Participation fee is 80 euro should be paid till 1st of September, but the participants from fSU countries and PhD students can ask for the reduction of conference fee to 40 euro.

The conference abstracts have to be send to Dr. Irina Molodikova: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.