Intra- vs. extra-regional migration in the post-Soviet space
Eurasian Geography And Economics Volume 55, Issue 2 | pages: 133-155
The paper addresses the distinctiveness of migration flows in the post-Soviet space east of the European Union: the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Georgia. Population mobility within this region is hypothesized to differ from extra-regional population movements due to the common institutional past of these states, all of which were once the USSR republics. It has been claimed that CIS countries form a distinct post-Soviet migration system. Within the framework of the migration systems theory, this paper offers a quantitative analysis of the scale and mechanics of cross-border population mobility in the region. By means of network analysis, it examines the intensity and distinctiveness of intra-regional migration flows relative to those between the region and third countries. We have also used an econometric gravity model to identify the main drivers of migration flows in the region. The resultant findings show that the existence of the post-Soviet migration system is questionable and should not be treated axiomatically. This is because the mobility of people from and to the CIS region is relatively high, and the region is increasingly integrated into the international division of labor through trade and capital mobility. The cross-border mobility of people also reflects this globalization trend.
migration, CIS, post-Soviet space, island analysis, gravity model, system