Chapter 20: Eurasian migration towards Russia: regional dynamics in the era of globalisation
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This chapter analyses the migration flows and trends in post-Soviet space in the context of globalisation processes. The evaluation is focused on some important aspects of globalisation: opportunities of visa-free regimes; free labour mobility; liberal v. restrictive migration policy control; and labour migrants’ behaviour reflected in interrelations between their illegal and legal share of the labour market. The chapter explores the uniqueness of the visa-free regime across former Soviet space and transformations of visa control since 1990 from liberal to restrictive and back to liberal regimes. Short periods of liberalisation policy clearly demonstrate this approach’s success, but corruption and bureaucratic ineffectiveness prevent the future realisation of such plans. In contrast, restrictiveness is ineffective; but policy on integration of labour migrants finds little response in Russian society and among the elite. Unsurprisingly, labour migration flows toward Russia show some trend for reorientation towards the EU that could deepen the demographic crisis in Russia.

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