Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MIGRANT LAW RUSSIA (Migration, Shadow Economy and Parallel Legal Orders in Russia)
Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-12-31
(1) Theoretical: To develop a theoretically robust understanding of undocumented migrants’ socio-legal integration in politically hybrid regimes, based on the collection and analysis of fieldwork data. This objective was accomplished by analyzing and theorizing the ethnographic data on the legal adaptation strategies of Central Asian migrant workers in Russia.
(2) Empirical: To produce new ethnographic material about the everyday interactions, alliances and struggles between undocumented migrants, protection rackets and law-enforcement structures in the Russian migrant labor market and place these processes within broader governance and rule of law debates. This objective was accomplished by conducting ethnographic studies in Moscow, Russia, and in Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan.
(2) Career-building goals: Career advancement by developing research skills, theoretical knowledge, and professional maturity through advanced research training, publications, public engagement, and mentorship. This objective was achieved through a structured and individually tailored research and career development programme (Career Development Plan) which was built on the combination of diverse career enhancement elements such as training-through-research, training-through-courses, and training-through- teaching-and-supervising.
The main scientific results of the project are presented in the forthcoming book (monograph) with the University of California Press: Urinboyev, R. (2021). Migration and Hybrid Political Regimes: Navigating the Legal Landscape in Russia. University of California Press (in production). The project’s results were disseminated through academic conferences, workshops, blog posts, media interviews and outreach activities.
Migrant Law Russia project findings have effects and impact beyond academia. Traditionally, the major emphasis has been placed on formal avenues of migrant integration and adaptation, whereas informal channels of migrant adaptation have been regarded as an abnormal, exception to the rule of law. However, the question lingers as to how we should understand and study migrant adaptation and integration processes in migrant-receiving countries characterized by the weak rule-of-law, dysfunctional institutions and rampant corruption which leave little or no room for formal migrant adaptation. This question has important implications not only for academic circles but also for immigration policymakers and practitioners, both at the national and international level, who are concerned with the dilemma of how to govern labor migration processes. Migrant Law Russia project findings challenge Western-centric understanding and provide a context-sensitive understanding of the interplay between migrant undocumentedness, informality and legal adaptation which will inform different target audiences and thereby advance global discussions on migrant rights in different parts of the world.