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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  June 2018

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS June 2018

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Subject:

Cfp: Mobilities and informality in former socialist spaces

From:

abel polese <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

abel polese <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 6 Jun 2018 15:51:51 +0000

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Call for chapters


Mobilities and informality in former socialist spaces (to be published with Palgrave – end 2019 or early 2020)


Editors

Abel Polese, Dublin City University and Tallinn University

Rano Turaeva, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Rustamjon Urinbayev, Lund University

We are preparing an edited volume to be published in the Palgrave - International Political Economy series (series editor Timothy Shaw, University of Boston). This call is part of a multi-annual project that started with a workshop on migration and informality (March 27-28 2018, Lund University) and will continue with a conference possibly in summer 2019. With this book we are also gathering expressions for follow-up initiatives. If interested send an abstract by 30 June 2018 to Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Rationale

Traditionally seen as “exporting” migrants to Western Europe and North America, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, along with the former USSR ones, have recently become important mobility hubs. We start with an understanding of mobility that includes migratory processes to and from these countries. However, and this is the reason we prefer “mobility” to “migration”, we intend to take into account processes that go beyond migratory flows and include, inter alia, consequences of increased mobility for business activities (when mobility of capitals, people, services or items generates revenues, without necessarily resulting from temporary or permanent migrations), or seeking healthcare or other services in places other than your hometown.


We believe that a large share of mobility-related activities generates informality, here defined as activities that happen outside the controlling, or coercing, presence of one or more states, or their institutions. There is a good body of literature dealing with migration, mostly from the region. This volume is, in our view, a way to complement existing literature in at least two ways.


First, initial trends tended to see the region as strategic for outsourcing. However, the improvement of the economic conditions, along with the recent refugee crisis has added a second category of migrants to the region. This has meant that, in addition to the skilled workers, the region has also witnessed an increasing amount of immigration from people with either low qualifications, no legal right to work or stay or simply missing the skills to quickly integrate into local job markets. The issue of legality is only a marginal one. Indeed, the International Organisation for Migrations warns that only 10% of the migrants worldwide are formally illegal, leading us to think that the most important barriers to socio-economic and legal integration are not formal but informal. In this respect, a number of studies have pinpointed at the contrast between the – de jure - existence of norms to deal with migrants against a de facto (partial or total) state incapacity to deal with migration flows and integration of foreign citizens in a number of cases.


Second, in addition to movements of people, the diverse degrees of development across the region (or even within a single country) has generated novel challenges and opportunities. In this respect, mobility can be considered from a number of perspectives, in terms of geographical destinations and workforce demand. Conflicts driven refugee crisis, labour migration, brain-drain and tourism are a few of the forms mobility may take. However, these phenomena are often met by ineffective or incomplete regulations that bring legal and civil codes and rules to be replaced or complemented by other rules and institutions which are practice based and informal (Polese 2016, Turaeva 2014, 2015; Urinboyev and Polese 2016, Williams 2015). In spite of a growing awareness of these issues the body of scholarship dealing with the relationship between mobility and informality, with special reference to the post-socialist region, has remained under-researched.


We thus welcome contributions that can:


1. Provide further empirical evidence on the existence, performance and persistence of informal practices. In particular, we are interested in what informal practices are boosted by the new opportunities provided by increased mobility at the country, region and global level

2. Explore the relationship between mobility patterns and informal practices to consolidate a sub-field of informality studies and contribute to a broader understanding of informal practices in Eastern Europe and the former USSR


Topics examined may include (the list is non-exhaustive):


-economy and employment, including informal labour and migration-related practices

-business practices and how they are affected by increased mobility

-religious practices (informal Mosques, religious healing, religious service)

-legal issues (documentation, border crossing)

-medical service and provision (informal health care and clinics)

-child care and education (informal and home schooling)

-second generation migrants and social, economic or cultural integration issues



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