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The Political Economy of Non-Western Migration Regimes

Central Asian Migrant Workers in Russia and Turkey

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About this book

This open access book contributes new theoretical and comparative insights on migrant agency, undocumentedness and informality in non-Western, non-democratic migration regimes. The book is conceived as a critical reflection on the contemporary migration regime scholarship, and, more generally, on comparative migration studies, which primarily focus on migrants’ experiences and immigration policies in the context of liberal democracies in North America and Western Europe. Addressing this gap is particularly important when considering the fact that many new migration hubs are nondemocratic, which in turn requires us to revise or produce new frameworks of analysis beyond existing and dominant Western-centric migration regime typologies. This book takes up the case study of Central Asian migrants in Russia and Turkey—two archetypal non-Western, nondemocratic regimes and key migration hotspots worldwide—and investigates how migration governance outcomes are shaped by the informal power geometries and extralegal processes in physical and digital landscapes in which migrant workers, employers, middlemen, landlords, street world actors and street-level bureaucrats negotiate the contemporary migration system. This lively ethnography presents new empirical material, a comparative perspective and methodological tools for studying migrants’ experiences and migration governance processes in non-Western migration regimes.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Open Access

Chapter 1. Understanding Labor, Law and Informality in Non-Western Migration Regimes
Abstract
On March 18, 2019, Safar (a pseudonym) was on an airplane heading to Istanbul in search of new adventures. The evening flight from Tashkent to Istanbul on Uzbekistan Airways took just under six hours.
Rustamjon Urinboyev, Sherzod Eraliev

Open Access

Chapter 2. Russian and Turkish Migration Regimes in a Comparative Perspective
Abstract
Global political developments, economic growth and trade liberalization since the 1980s have changed the political and economic landscapes of most regions in the world. First, the collapse of the Soviet Union (and the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe) lead to the movement of large segments of populations. For example, the dissolution of the Soviet Union alone left tens of millions of people divided into several countries.
Rustamjon Urinboyev, Sherzod Eraliev

Open Access

Chapter 3. Parallel Worlds of Uzbek Migrants in Russia and Turkey
Abstract
During our 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Russia from January 2014 through November 2019, we traveled extensively within Moscow, running from one side of the city to another in search of informants.
Rustamjon Urinboyev, Sherzod Eraliev

Open Access

Chapter 4. Documentation and Legalization Arenas in Moscow and Istanbul
Abstract
During our ethnographic fieldwork in Istanbul—in the Kumkapi neighborhood where the majority of Uzbek migrant workers reside and work—we encountered many Uzbek migrants who were compelled to reroute their migration destination from Russia to Turkey following the introduction of the entry ban legislation in Russia in 2013 and 2014. Since that ban, Turkey has become a popular destination since Uzbeks can travel visa-free and can work and reside there without any immigration documents.
Rustamjon Urinboyev, Sherzod Eraliev

Open Access

Chapter 5. Migrant Labor Markets in Russia and Turkey
Abstract
During our ethnographic fieldwork in Istanbul, we spent most of our time wandering the streets of the Kumkapi neighborhood, where it is possible to spot hundreds of Uzbek migrants who reside and/or work there.
Rustamjon Urinboyev, Sherzod Eraliev

Open Access

Chapter 6. The Shadow Economy and the Street World as a Migration Arena
Abstract
According to the 2021 Rule of Law Index, one of the leading global indicators on the rule of law published annually by the World Justice Project, Russia and Turkey ranked 101st and 117th, respectively, among 139 countries (WJP. Rule of Law Index 2021 [online]. https://​worldjusticeproj​ect.​org/​our-work/​research-and-data/​wjp-rule-law-index-2021, 2021). The low positions of these two countries in the Rule of Law Index is unsurprising given that both Russia and Turkey are non-democracies where law enforcement remains arbitrary, corruption and shadow economic transactions proliferate, civil society’s capacity is constrained by legal and administrative restrictions and respect for and observance of human rights is poor.
Rustamjon Urinboyev, Sherzod Eraliev

Open Access

Chapter 7. Informality and Migrant Agency in Non-Western Migration Regimes
Abstract
On January 14, 2022, we attended a dinner with Safar (the Uzbek migrant presented in Chapter 1 of this book) at O’zbegim restaurant in Kumkapi in Istanbul, Turkey.
Rustamjon Urinboyev, Sherzod Eraliev
Backmatter
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Metadata
Title
The Political Economy of Non-Western Migration Regimes
Authors
Rustamjon Urinboyev
Sherzod Eraliev
Copyright Year
2022
Electronic ISBN
978-3-030-99256-9
Print ISBN
978-3-030-99255-2
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-99256-9

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