Humanities and Social Sciences

Central Eastern European Migration Review


Central Eastern European Migration Review | 2018 | Vol. 7 | No 2 |

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In the post-communist era, the European migration space changed significantly. It has become charac-terised predominantly by temporary labour migration and new forms of circular, return and onward migration which are collectively theorised as ‘liquid’. The 2004/2007 eastward expansion of the EU resulted in the re-emergence of large-scale East-West intra-EU migration; however, Czechia continues to have one of the lowest levels of emigration among EU member-states in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). This article analyses Czech migration to New Zealand, which constitutes a considerable portion of overall Czech emigration. It is hypothesised that this flow can be understood as an example of ‘liquid’ migration beyond the EU to a distant settler society. Data from Immigration New Zealand and Stats NZ are examined to identify the trends, patterns and sociodemographic profile of Czech-to-New Zealand migration; other secondary sources provide a preliminary sketch of the motivations behind (and lived experiences of) Czech migrants in New Zealand. The study finds that this migration is increasing – mostly for temporary work, holidaying or visiting friends and relatives – and one of the largest, young-est and most recently arrived migrant groups from the CEE EU-10 countries. It is concluded that Czechia’s comparatively high standard of living may be an explanatory factor behind the relatively large flow of its people to New Zealand and that further qualitative investigation is needed to elucidate the motivations and diverse experiences of individual Czech migrants. The article ultimately contributes to comparative migration studies by exploring a potentially unique case of liquid migration to a tradi-tional settler society.

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Authors and Affiliations

Oksana Opara
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This article deals with migrants’ experiences of precarious working conditions in the cleaning and con-struction industries in the Danish labour market as seen from their perspective. The experiences are retained through biographical narrative interviews with migrant workers from Central and Eastern Europe and are used to gain an understanding of the concrete strategies they apply when coping with their short-term contracts, demanding working hours, risk of unemployment and other insecurities. Mi-grants’ experiences of precarity and insecurity in their work is confirmed, to some degree, in numerous research studies. However, the resistance and strategies expressed by the migrant workers in their nar-ratives show that they have also developed specific ways to cope with this precarity. The article con-tributes to a new understanding of migrants’ responses to precarity in which they engage their social and cultural resources to cope with the labour market conditions they face in Denmark.

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Doris Pljevaljcic Simkunas
Trine Lund Thomsen
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Between 2014 and 2016 the number of foreigners on the Polish labour market increased by over 300 per cent. They were mainly Ukrainian citizens taking up seasonal employment on the basis of the so-called ‘sim-plified system’. According to the literature, such a large increase in labour immigration in a short period of time may be an important factor in the growth of unemployment and the reduction of the employment rate of natives. The main purpose of this text is to show the correlation between the increase in the employment of foreigners in Poland and to determine whether or not this has had an impact on the deterioration of the state of the labour market. For this purpose, data from the Central Statistical Office and the Polish Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy were collected. As a result of our analysis, it was found that the significant increase in the presence of foreigners on the Polish labour market, which the country has faced in recent years, was not correlated with the rise in unemployment, the increase in the rate of economic inactivity and the availability of seasonal jobs. On this basis, we can state that the increase in the supply of foreigners on the Polish labour market, compared to other factors influencing it, was weak enough for the negative effects of the increased employment of foreigners to not occur.

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Authors and Affiliations

Maciej Duszczyk
Kamil Matuszczyk
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While the number of forced migrants moving out of conflict-ridden or otherwise troubled regions into rela-tively stable and safe parts of the world is higher than ever, the countries of destination are increasingly trying to prevent migrants from reaching their territories. Given the scale of forced displacement and current trends of tightening immigration policies, it should be expected that tragedies at the borders, similar to that recently witnessed in Europe, will become the norm rather than the exception and that new discourses and practices will continue to emerge, transforming territorial borders in various parts of the world into highly conflictual and politicised ‘borderspaces’. This article is a contribution to the understanding of borders through a case study of the recent policy of ‘closed doors’ that Poland has adopted towards Russia’s North Caucasus asylum seekers at the country’s eastern border with Belarus, preventing them from entering the territory and claiming protection. It demonstrates that, through the process of ‘bordering’, power is no longer exercised only by the border guards at the crossing point in Terespol from where asylum seekers are being returned and that it is increasingly to be found in social practices that occur on both sides of the border, away from the clearance points. The article examines the various practices of resistance undertaken by the asylum seekers and other actors on several different levels in response to the changed reality at the border. It also analyses the meanings and discourses developed by Polish state actors in order to legitimise restrictive migration policies.

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Marta Szczepanik
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Numerous Russian media professionals have moved to Ukraine in the last decade. These migrants can be seen as contemporary mobile, highly skilled, transnationally connected professionals who made a lifestyle choice by relocating to Ukraine. However, after the EuroMaidan, their move has also become increasingly political. Drawing upon a series of interviews with Russian media professionals living and working in Ukraine – and addressing their social relationships, professional practices and thoughts on return migration – I analyse the ways in which the lifestyles of these ‘middling transnationals’ can be affected by the political tensions between host and home countries. This paper draws upon the idea of transnational ties being not necessarily durable and supportive but, rather, flexible and multi-direc-tional. I argue that the annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict in Donbas have altered migrants’ cross-border connections with Russia; however, instead of tying them to a place and excluding them from global networks, it might also push them towards inhabiting multiple transnational spaces. These observations highlight the political dimension of ‘middling transnationalism’ which is usually not con-sidered in migration scholarship.

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Darya Malyutina
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In this article I discuss the need for more systematic integration of approaches dealing with religious beliefs and practices into the discussion about sources and areas of gender social changes that occur in global migration. Firstly, starting from the discussion about negative representations of religiosity in contemporary debates, I consider from theoretical and methodological perspectives why we should move the religious dimension from the margins more to the centre of analysis. Secondly, basing on an exploratory review of empirical research about intersections of religion and gender in the lives of in-ternational migrants, I discuss findings that reveal about religion as a potential mediator in the gen-dered revolution. I answer how they help to understand the complexities and ambivalences of social changes and identify the areas they concern. I argue that the revolutionary potential that arises at the intersection of migration, gender and religion is not limited to changing gender orders in religious organisations. It is religious beliefs themselves that influence migrants’ everyday lives and challenge the existing gendered contract in lay areas, in work relations, civic and political participation.

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Sylwia Urbańska
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Based on empirical research conducted in Hungary and Poland in 2016–2017, as well as on analysis of social media, blogs and newspaper articles, this article discusses Hungarian and Polish attitudes towards Muslims and Islam. Against a historical background, we analyse how the Hungarian and Polish governments responded to the large-scale influx of Muslim refugees during the 2015 ‘migration crisis’. The anti-immigrant narratives, fueled by both governments and the right-wing press, resulted in some-thing akin to Islamophobia without Muslims. Instead of portraying the people arriving at the southern border of Europe as refugees seeking safety, they described the migration process in terms such as ‘raid’, ‘conquest’ and ‘penetration’. These narratives often implied that Muslims will combat Europe not only with terrorism but with the uteruses of their women, who will bear enough children to outnum-ber native Poles and Hungarians. The paper ends with a discussion of positive attempts to improve attitudes towards refugees in Poland and Hungary.

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Elżbieta M. Goździak
Péter Márton
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This paper thoroughly examines the gender patterns of religious activity within the Vietnamese – the largest non-European migrant community in Poland. Basing on the result from anthropological field-work which I conducted in two pagodas currently operating in the suburbs of Warsaw I analyse this issue in the light of traditional gender patterns of religious life in Vietnam, as well as in the context of the politicisation of spiritual life under communist rule. The results of my research prove that whether a religious institution will become a ‘women’s sphere’ or will remain under the influence of male actors depends to a great extent on its political emplacement and relations with formal institutions of the Viet-namese state.

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Grażyna Szymańska-Matusiewicz
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This article examines how migration to Wales modifies Polish Catholic families’ religious practices. It focuses on how the First Communion ceremony is performed. Within the Polish migrant community I witnessed three distinct ways of arranging this. Some families travelled to Poland to their parish churches of origin. Of those who celebrated it in Wales, some did so in a Polish church, others in their children’s Catholic school’s church. These choices had different effects. Holding First Communion in Poland confirmed children’s Polish identity and home-country bonds. It exemplified both the fluidity of the families’ intra-European migration experience and the strength of transnational networking. Hold-ing it in the local Polish parish reinforced both families’ and childrens’ identification as Polish Catho-lics. In the school’s church, it strengthened migrant families’ negotiations of belonging and their children’s integration into the Welsh locality. Mothers’ active involvement in all settings led some to contest Polish religious customs and revealed emerging identifications related to children’s wellbeing and belonging. Unlike arrangements traditional in Poland, families’ religious practices in Wales seem to have become more individual, less collective.

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Aleksandra Kaczmarek-Day
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This report discusses the ways in which Muslim communities form in Poland, with particular emphasis on the role of migrant men and women from Muslim countries, broken down into activities carried out mainly by women and mainly by men. The division of activities sometimes goes beyond the patterns of Muslim communities in other countries. The specificity of the Muslim community in Poland is related to: the historical context of the origins of its creation, i.e. the presence of Polish Tatars, a small number of Muslims living in Poland, and their diversity in terms of countries of origin.

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Maria Stojkow
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In cities with large educational institutions, the inflow of educational migrants is important for con-sumption demand, and can trigger multiplier effects. The main aim of this article is to show the mecha-nism of the aggregate demand-income effect created by educational migration in the Polish city of Opole. An estimate of this effect is provided, based on questionnaire research among a sample of 1 075 students from all institutions of higher education located in the city. The estimated effects analysed concern the direct consumption impulse, as well as the indirect job creation and increase in income for providers of accommodation for students, in turn triggering increased consumption demand. While the results must be interpreted with care, an estimated 15 per cent of consumption demand created through expenditure of migrant students (about PLN 175 400 000) and 485 extra job show the significance of such expenditure for the local economy.

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Diana Rokita-Poskart
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The paper addresses the issue of culture shock and the challenges met in the process of adaptation to a new culture, as experienced by international students studying in Poland. Until recently, Poland has not been regarded as a very attractive educational market. Poland joining the EU in 2004 contributed to a surge in various types of migrant arriving in the country, including international students. However, for the last few years the number of young people coming to Poland in order to study has been growing steadily. Yet, this growth does not mean that state, local or university authorities have any knowledge of how to resolve possible future conflicts which might and often do arise between overseas students and the society which receives them, or of how to help these students with their everyday problems. This dilemma is the result of a lack of studies regarding this group. Previous studies regarding migrants in Poland were only slightly focused on international students. In spite of the fact that international stu-dents are migrants, they differ significantly from other types of migrant – mostly those who are in Poland for economic or political reasons. The aim of the research presented in this article was therefore to carry out an initial exploration of the problems which this group encounters both at university and in society. The research was carried out in two stages with medical students in Łódź. The first stage was a paper-based questionnaire completed by international students studying at the Medical University of Łódź (N=74). The second stage involved three focus-group interviews conducted with some of these students.

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Authors and Affiliations

Paweł Przyłęcki

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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