ISSN 2300 - 1682

Central and Eastern European Migration Review

Issue edited by: Aleksandra Grzymała-Kazłowska

Editorial

Extract  

Although Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is sometimes referred to as a buffer zone (Iglicka 2001) because of its location between the huge Asian continent and Western Europe, it is also an area of intense and diverse migration flows both internal and external. In a broader sense, the region of Central and Eastern Europe may include countries of the Visegrád Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), the states of the former USSR, as well as southern post-communist states, Bulgaria and Romania, and even the states of the former Yugoslavia and Albania (Okólski 2004; Castles, Miller 2003). This extensive list includes both the countries whose accession to the European Union took place between 2004-2013 (the Visegrád Group countries, the Baltic states, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia), as well as countries which are not EU member states. The EU enlargements created a considerable difference between the status of the countries which became part of the EU and the other states of the region, and influenced intra- and extra-regional migration processes.

Mobility in CEE should be analysed with reference to the interrelated fundamental social, economic, and political changes taking place in the region. First, notable is the shrinking and aging of the societies in CEE countries, brought about by fertility decline and family breakdown. Second, we must consider existing migration pressure and intensified post-accession emigration. Third, what is specific to the region are the processes of European integration and of the related profound modernisation. All of the above features create a unique combination of migration-related factors.

Articles

Abstract  

As a country of immigration, Australia is an interesting laboratory of the dynamics of migrant settlement, diaspora development and sustainment. In this paper we discuss the Polish immigrant community in Australia: Australian Polonia, which is an example of a community of permanent settlers who blended into the Australian host community but retained enough elements of their distinct identity to be considered a part of the Polish emigrant diaspora. This is a traditional diaspora in that it largely excludes temporary migrants. We explore the nature of its attachment to Poland and Polish culture, and discuss the multiple identities of these migrants. The research question that we ask is: in what sense do members of Australian Polonia, ‘belong’ to the Polish diaspora, i.e. how are they attached to ‘things Polish’? Our sources of information include official statistics, mainly the Census of Population (2011), and a survey of Australian Polonia conducted in 2006.

Abstract  

The text attempts at explaining different positions that the two groups of Eastern European immigrants – Jews from the former Soviet Union and Poles – have acquired in the New York City labour market at the turn of the 20th and 21st century. The initial difference in the human capital, measured by education and occupation has been accelerated by the difference in social capital that the two groups could rely on in New York City (organizational network of legal and practical assistance coming from one of the wealthiest and prestigious group for post-Soviet Jewish immigrants versus support coming from working class but well-rooted group of Polish-Americans and ‘white ethnics’ for Polish immigrants). These different resources have been shaped in the course of over a century of Jewish and Polish migrations from Eastern Europe to the US. Additionally, since the late 20th century, the difference between the two groups has been further deepened by the legal status that is typically accessible to the two of them in the US (refugees vs immigrants, including the unauthorized ones). The text also compares the Eastern European immigrants’ position with other immigrant groups’ one in the New York City labour market. The US 2000 census statistics (The Newest New Yorkers 2000) document the difference in human capital and legal status of the two groups while results of my fieldwork in Greenpoint, a traditional destination of Polish immigrants in Brooklyn and of the existing qualitative research on post-Soviet Jewish immigrants in New York City provided data on social networks and extended evidence on human capital and consequences of legal status.

Abstract  

The article discusses the notion of return migration with regard to its permanency and temporariness. In reference to selective patterns of return migration, factors conducive to permanent returns and to re-emigration, i.e. subsequent migration after the return, are examined with the use of a logistic regression model. Analyses demonstrated in the article are devoted to return migration to Poland in 1989-2002 and based on the 2002 Polish census data. The obtained results confirm earlier findings on the major role of the level of human capital and family attachments in shaping the nature of the return waves. It was revealed that return migrants who decided on a longer stay in Poland were more often living in Polish urban areas, and had higher human capital and stronger family attachments to Poland, when compared to re-emigrants. It was also observed that return migrants possessing dual nationality were the most likely to engage in re-emigration, while descendants of Polish emigrants tended to settle in Poland on a more permanent basis.

Abstract  

The article introduces the theoretical approach to analysing return migration policy and discusses the main dilemmas of the state related to political reaction to returns of its nationals. The concept of reactive and active policy is presented, the first aiming at minimising the negative effects of returns, while the second focused on stimulating the return processes. The main drivers and determinants of the return policy effectiveness as well as the types, scope and scale of state activities addressed to returnees are also discussed in the article. The practice of state policy implementation is illustrated with the example of the particular case of Poland as a country which faced mass emigration after accession to the European Union and return migration in the recent years. The review of conceptual documents, the rationale for the state policy and the variety of activities implemented by the Polish government and other institutions are presented.

Abstract  

The purpose of this article was to answer the question whether and how the legal status, and in particular its increase, influences the economic and professional adaptation of immigrants with different ethnic backgrounds. The analysis was of a qualitative nature and was based on in-depth interviews with Ukrainian and Vietnamese immigrants having different legal statuses. Contrary to the assumed hypothesis, it turned out that the increase of the legal status of the studied immigrants from Ukraine and Vietnam, meaning that they achieve more secure legal status – giving them wider scope of rights and a growing sense of security and stability – rarely contributed to a significant improvement of their economic and professional position. Meanwhile, there could be observed differences between these two groups in terms of patterns of adaptation in the Polish economy, which were influenced by the legal framework, but also by other important factors, such as, in particular, the availability of income-bringing activities and social networks.

Abstract  

This article fills a gap in migratory research in Poland by exploring patterns of social adaptation of intra-EU migrants living temporarily (i.e. up to five years) in Poland. The paper explores the spaces of everyday social practices of people of British, French and German nationality that came to work here or followed a family member and uncovers a family and female perspective on social adaptation of highly skilled elite migrants in Warsaw. It presents original empirical material employing creative research techniques gathered in Warsaw. The study reveals that social adaptation of intra-EU highly skilled migrants is spatially selective and expats develop connections with spaces related to their family life reproduction, such as international schools, expatriate associations and places of leisure and consumption. The article argues that more attention should be paid in future research to intra-EU mobility and the gender imbalance in accessing particular local resources, such as the labour market.

Book Reviews

Extract  

Becoming Transnational Professional. Careers and Mobility of Polish Scientific Elites by Izabela Wagner is a monograph on dynamics of careers and mobility of life-science Polish researchers who become international elite members. It presents original empirical material based mainly on qualitative methods. Therefore the book fills the gap in highly skilled elite migrants mobility research. The basis for the analysis of the dynamics and career building in life-science researchers' world is constituted by two ethnographic studies started by the author in 2003 and done in different countries (i.e. France, Poland, Germany, USA). This methodologically original research conducted over the course of many years allows to explore life-science researchers socialisation into elite circles and provides detailed descriptions and examples of this process. It also allows to look at the brain drain problem from different perspective and uncovers the concept of career coupling in the social world of elite scientists. The author focuses on impact of prestigious scholarships and grants on careers of young scientists as well on long-term consequences of their mobility that includes three main stages. It is argued that the analysis of transmobility developed by the author can also be transferred to other professional fields.

Extract  

Writing Home: Immigrants in Brasil and the Unites States 1890-91 by Witold Kula, Nina Assorodobraj-Kula and Marcin Kula is a collection of letters from emigrants to their families and friends in the Russian-occupied part of Poland. It was published for the first time in 1973, and republished in 2012. An English translation edited by J. Wtulich was published in 1986. The 367 letters, in their original Polish spelling or translated (mostly from Yiddish) are a unique source of information about the lives and mentalities of Polish peasants, the process of emigration, and about the lives of Polish Jews. They were confiscated by tsarist censorship and never reached their addressees. Bad handwriting, grammar and spelling made the letters immensely difficult to read and an enormous amount of work went into their preparation for print. The resulting publication is a unique collection of documents, valuable also for historians of the Polish language. The Jewish letters tell much about the lives of Polish Jews of the time. 

The authors preceded the letters with a 100-page introduction, which resumes the most important issues and throws light on the mentality of Polish peasants of the time. In the future, another publication with selected letters and an even broader introduction to the late 19th century realities of Polish territories, Brazil and the USA might be useful. In the meantime the book is a valuable and moving read not only for historians and sociologists, but also for today’s generation of emigrants. Although migrating in completely different circumstances, they can certainly relate to the emotions of migrants of several generations ago.