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Centre of Migration Research

Dynamics of East-West migration


The Centre for Migration Research invites you to a hybrid seminar featuring:

dr Sam Scott
Comparative Perspectives on Migration, Precarity and Horticultural Work 

The talk will profile the international comparative part of the GLARUS research project on global labour in rural societies. It will draw on qualitative case-study evidence from Norway and the UK (interviews with migrant workers, employers and community stakeholders) to explore the relevance of the concept of liminality in the study of precarious harvest work/ labour. Liminality is a temporary ‘in-between’ state that acts as a bridge, connecting old roles to new roles, and (hopefully) resulting in a desired new state. I will argue that migrants in low-wage and insecure work occupy four liminal realms following their cross-border mobility: the temporal, the financial, the social and the legal. The talk will then reflect on the balance between liminality (as a positive, temporary state) and limbo (as a negative, permanent state). I argue that low-wage migrants’ focus on liminality, rather than limbo, is a vital expression of agency; but also note that such a focus serves the interests of capital too: with liminality both masking negatives associated with precarious work and (at least partly) underpinning precarious migrants’ work ethic. The talk is a collaborative effort involving the following members of the GLARUS team: Professor Johan Fredrik Rye (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway); Dr Thomas Saetre Jakobsen (Norwegian Labour Inspectorate, Norway); and Dr Anne Visser, UC Davis, California, USA).

Franck Düvell – Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS), Osnabruck University
Forced Migration in the Global East – a neglected field of research?

The break-up of the Soviet Union, the violent reordering of states and nations triggered significant forced displacement, 3.2 million in 1998, followed by a surge in according research. But from 2000, forced migration decreased and so has research and what there is, is rather imbalanced. However, many causes of rivalry, discontent and tensions persist and time did not heal wounds. From 2014, we witnessed war and displacement of over 2 million Ukrainians, in 2020 the flaring-up of tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the suppression of the uprising in Belarus which drove tens of thousands of people from their homes. Also some Russians seem to escape to Ukraine from 2021. And another uprising in Kazakhstan and its violent crackdown might also generate refugees. However, conventional thinking of a world divided in a Global North and a Global West tends to turn a blind eye on migration matters east of the EU, as long as people remain in the region. Notably forced migration studies almost entirely focus on Africa and the Middle East and to a lesser extent Central America and are thus Euro- respectively US-centric. If there is anything productive about the recent developments then it highlights the need for more, critical and post-colonial forced migration studies in the post-Soviet space. This contribution, based on a scoping study, (a) promotes the concept of a Global East as an important category for analysing (forced) migration in Eurasia and the Caucasus, (b) identifies state-of-the-art and research gaps and (c) aims to encourage fresh research into this region.

The seminar will take place on 25 February 2022 at 10.00 a.m. in a hybrid format: on-site in the conference room at the Centre for Migration Research, 7 Pasteur Street and on-line on the Zoom platform.  To register click the

link here.