Migration as a political asset and how trust adds to it
When the Berlin Wall came down, Ukraine became one of the top 10 countries from which people tend to emigrate (International Migration Report 2017). Since 2014, Ukrainians have led the count of getting first-time EU residence and work permissions (Eurostat 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Similarly to other non-EU residents, Ukrainians use the so-called migration-trust networks – those through which people, as well as capital, circulate internationally. While there’s a popular approach to view emigration as a brain drain and the source of money transfers in foreign currencies, I suggest to view it as an opportunity to grow intangible social assets (knowledge, skills, education, diversity of experiences, reappraising values); to discuss the ways and circumstances in which migration might become a political resource to us; to grasp how the experience of trust or distrust influences the circulation of such assets across the borders. I’ll put Ukrainian experience of emigration in the broader European context, namely, the process of integration of the 2015 wave of refugees into the European, particularly Swedish society. I will also present my findings from 7-year research based on surveys and media analysis.
Social anthropologist, migration researcher, journalist, essayist, Ph.D. in ethnology, researcher at the Institute of Ethnology (Kyiv, Ukraine). Fields of interest: labor migration of Ukrainian women, transnational mobility, migration anthropology, history in spoken word. See more.
Світлана Одинець. Українські міграції в глобальному світі: пікнік на узбіччі. Розгорнута рецензія книги Пауля Кольєра «Exodus: How Migration Is Changing Our World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013 / «Критика», квітень 2018;
Lyubov Zhyznomirska and Svitlana Odynets. Caught between East and West: Ukrainian migration in the 21st century. 2018. Handbook of Migration and Globalisation, ed. by Anna Triandafyllidou.: Cheltenham ; Northampton : Edward Elgar Pub.