Migrant Rights, Agency, and Vulnerability: Navigating Contradictions in the Eurasian Region

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Abstract

Migrants are often presented in simplified terms that focus on the threats they experience or pose to the host society. This produces an image of migrants who have no agency and are victims of their circumstances or who respond to their circumstances by turning to crime and illegality. In this special issue, we reframe migration by highlighting how migrants leverage the various vulnerabilities they encounter, turning them into agency and self-sufficiency. We explore different types of vulnerability and agency for migrants in the Eurasian region, which often originate from the same sources, including structural factors, state and governance practices, social networks, and gender roles. Through interactions with a variety of state and nonstate actors, migrants have the ability to make choices that reduce uncertainty and risk in their migration environment and on returning home. These choices coexist with vulnerability and a lack of formal rights but do not replace them, creating complex and contingent relationships between precarity and agency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-643
Number of pages7
JournalNationalities Papers
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • agency
  • Eurasia
  • informal practices
  • migration policy
  • Mobility
  • precarity
  • Russia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations

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