The Kennan Institute is participating in a three-year research project entitled "People, Power, and Conflict in the Eurasian Migration System" that is funded by the National Science Foundation and led by Professor Cynthia Buckley of the University of Texas, Austin. This past week at the Population Association of America 2011 Annual Meeting held in Washington, DC, March 31-April 2, four members of the research team presented their preliminary findings. Please see below for more information.

"Measuring Migration from the Republic of Georgia: A Comparison of Three National Surveys"

Erin T. Hofmann, University of Texas at Austin

Large-scale out-migration is a fairly recent phenomenon in the Republic of Georgia, and social and political turmoil, as well as the diverse nature of migration flows from the country, have made measurement of migration particularly difficult. Three recent national surveys have made it possible to explore patterns of international migration from Georgia at the national level: the Caucasus Research Resource Centers Data Initiative (2007), the Development on the Move survey (2008), and the GeoStat migration survey (2008). However, there are notable differences in the estimates of the prevalence of international migration, as well as in the demographic characteristics of migrants, produced by these three surveys. My paper compares the surveys and assesses their sampling strategies and approaches to measuring migration. I argue that issues of sampling design, representation of ethnic minorities, and differing conceptualizations of "migrant" and "household" across the three surveys explains the differences in results.

"Fitting in or Setting the Standards? Nativity and Adherence to Idealized Social Norms in the Russian Federation"

Cynthia Buckley, Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and University of Texas at Austin
Mary Elizabeth Malinkin, Kennan Institute

Russia is second only to the United States in the number of foreign born residents. Recent migration into Russia generates increased attention on the social and cultural challenges migrant pose. We utilize content analysis of media, government pronouncements and public opinion surveys to identify core idealized social norms concerning family, respect for governmental institutions, and health behaviors. Using Waves I and II of the Russian Gender and Generation Survey (each with over 9,700 respondents and approximately 12% foreign born), we examine whether the foreign born in Russia display social attitudes that differ from national ideals, and whether they differ from the native born. Our finding indicate that the foreign born display significantly greater adherence to idealized social norms than the native born, although this relationship declines with duration. Our results highlight the disjuncture between politicized immigration fears, and the impact of in-migration on core socio-cultural practices, informing theories of integration.

On the right side of this page, please see the "Documents" section for a link to the poster.

"Migration Destinations within Post-Soviet Russia"

Timothy Heleniak, University of Maryland

Russia has the second-largest stock of migrants in the world after the United States, with approximately nine percent of its population being foreign born. The country has become the main destination region for migrants within the evolving Eurasian migration system. Much has been written about Russia becoming the major migration destination but little about destination choice within Russia. This paper represents a first attempt to compile data on migrants by destination, examine changing patterns of destinations, and begin to attempt to understand causes. The paper tests three possible factors influencing destination choice of migrants in Russia 1) ethnic factors or the existence of ethnic enclaves 2) economic factors such as large and growing income disparities among Russian regions in the post-Soviet period 3) other factors, such the influence of migration legislation and distance. Russian data on migration, ethnicity, and economic performance will be used to test.

On the right side of this page, please see the "Documents" section for a link to the poster.