‘All is not yet lost here.’ The role of aspirations and capabilities in migration projects of Ukrainian migrants in Poland
The paper contributes to the literature on migration within and into the Central and Eastern European region by showing the evolving character of Ukrainian migration to Poland and the different aspirations accompanying the migrants when deciding to leave their country of origin. The paper explores ‘migration’ and ‘general life’ aspirations that Ukrainian migrants pursued through migration and shows their role in migration projects that, along with their capabilities, impact the process of integration and integration outcomes. I draw on in-depth interviews with migrants from Ukraine who plan to circulate, settle in Poland, return to Ukraine or move to another country. The results indicate that the general aspirations of the research participants encompass better income, employment in line with education and settlement, while the most significant capabilities consist of legal status, translating human capital into labour market opportunities and language proficiency. Finally, the study revealed the combination of the instrumental and intrinsic dimensions of Ukrainian migrants’ mobility that go beyond economic rationality.
Ukrainians, motivations, settlement intentions, circular migration, integration