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Abstract  

The welfare aspects of intra-European migration remain an important and controversial topic of academic and political debates. These discussions touch upon the classical ‘welfare magnet’ or ‘welfare tourism’ hypothesis. Transcending the politicised concept of ‘benefit tourism’, our paper examines how welfare-state considerations in relation to migration decisions vary across the life course. Relying on micro-level qualitative research focusing on Spanish intra-EU movers, the paper probes deeper into how individuals perceive welfare systems, analysing the subtle and nuanced meanings of different aspects of the welfare for their migration decisions. We focus more specifically on welfare provisions in terms of health care, compulsory education, child support and other care responsibilities, unemployment and pensions and retirement. Our research indicates that, in studies on the migration–welfare nexus, it is necessary to move beyond the current narrow focus on the welfare magnet hypothesis and to examine how diverse welfare arrangements continuously and dynamically set the context for migration decisions at various stages of an individual’s life. The results of our research show how features of the Spanish welfare system, in comparison to those of potential destination countries, might act as both a trigger and/or a barrier to migration. As such, we get a ‘thicker description’ of the role which welfare might play in shaping individuals’ eventual migratory aspirations and decisions.

 

Abstract  

Italy is one of the most important destination countries for Romanians. At the same time, the Italian care sector relies mainly on migrant labour, most of whom are Romanian women. Historically, Italy is considered one of the landmark countries for the southern or Mediterranean welfare state, characterised by its fragmented labour market, underdeveloped social protection system, informal economy and unpaid care work, usually done by the women in the family. Italy has one of the highest rates in Europe of both the elderly population and life expectancy at birth. In the last 20 years, the care work was gradually redistributed to migrant care workers, most of them women from former socialist countries, who often live in the household where they work. Migration from Eastern Europe, particularly Romania, has been facilitated, on the one hand, by rising unemployment and low-paid job opportunities in migrants’ countries of origin in the context of the deindustrialisation of state industry and, on the other, by the Italian elderly public-support system which is based on cash benefits granted to the family which can be redistributed to employ migrant care workers. In this paper we analyse three specific types of care work migration from Romania to Italy and the main challenges which they face, taking into account the specifics of the work and the type of migration chosen. The methodology is qualitative, based on 20 semi-structured online interviews with Romanian care workers and two interviews with stakeholders.

 

Abstract  

Ireland has become one of the main destination countries for Polish migrants after Poland’s EU accession in 2004. While much of the literature on Polish migration to Ireland post-2004 focuses on its labour-market element, in this paper we analyse the political participation of Polish migrants. We utilise data from a survey conducted by the Centre of Migration Research (University of Warsaw) with Polish migrants in Ireland which documents low levels of political engagement as measured by voting turnout in Polish presidential and parliamentary elections as well as the Irish local elections and elections to the European Parliament.A lack of knowledge about political participation rights or how to engage in voting is one explanation for the low levels of voting, especially in Irish local and European parliamentiary elections. Another explanation may be the attitude that migrants have towards the political system and how they can influence it. Polish migrants predominantly report that they have no or little influence on politics in Poland and have relatively less trust in the authorities and politicians there (compared to Ireland). The key individual-level characteristic affecting Polish migrant respondents’ electoral participation in Ireland is their (lack of) voting habit formed before migration.

 

Abstract  

A handful of studies have used Facebook’s advertisement platform – Facebook Ads Manager – to recruit migrants to online surveys. The main challenge facing migration scholars in designing effective advertisements has been to identify and accurately target migrants on Facebook. Researchers have used proxies, such as users’ previous residence abroad, language(s) or interests, to infer their migration status. Despite some progress, there remains a need to better document and reflect critically on the accuracy of targeting migrants using such proxies. Contrary to studies which relied on users’ previous residence abroad, this study used migrants’ language (Polish) to target and recruit survey participants from among Polish migrants in Norway, Sweden and the UK. Focusing on a single migrant group across three countries, the goal of this article is to assess the accuracy of a targeting strategy which relied primarily on users’ command of a language as an indicator of their migration background. Comparing the results against official migration statistics and the results reported in similar studies, the article provides a compelling case for researchers to prioritise users’ language, rather than previous residence abroad, as the proxy for migration background for migrants whose language, such as Polish, is confined to the borders of a single nation state.

Abstract  

Immigration is one of the most contentious fields of contemporary European urban policy. While the development of urban segregation is well documented in traditional immigration countries with population register data, there is a lack of detailed research on population dynamics in many countries and cities across Europe. This article examines ethnic residential segregation in Czechia in the period after the economic crisis of 2008. Special attention is paid to the trajectories of individual cities and their position in the urban hierarchy. Longitudinal population register data are used and segregation indicators of unevenness and exposure are computed for the largest cities using a detailed spatial grid. The results show a broad picture of decreasing segregation despite the continuously growing number of immigrants in the country. While the economic crisis temporarily halted immigration, the spatial patterns of immigrant dissimilarity did not change and more-established immigration gateway cities experienced an increase in spatial isolation. In the conclusion, the article calls for further discussion on ethnic residential segregation in post-socialist cities.

Abstract  

This article analyses the strategies of adaptation used by highly skilled Latvian migrants to make the best of their situation abroad. As empirical data, 26 semi-structured in-depth interviews with highly skilled Latvian nationals in finances, management, IT and the health sector are analysed. The study reveals how migrants negotiate the value of their cultural capital in the new country’s labour market. Different adaptation strategies are typical for the pre-migration phase, the phase of transition and initial settlement and of establishment in the host country. The main conclusion of the study is that pre-migration cultural capital (education, work experience, language knowledge and general and specific skills) is important but not sufficient to be successful in new country’s labour market – in the UK, Germany, Norway and the USA. The labour-market outcomes are a result of the interplay between migrants’ individual resources and decisions on extensive investments in country-specific human capital and structural constraints – such as typical recruitment patterns in a particular occupation and host country.

 

Abstract  

The security of asylum-seekers in the context of conditions of reception has not been frequently researched. This article aims to fill this gap by arguing that asylum-seekers in Poland are stuck in a grey zone between being secure and being securitised by the host society, with little opportunity to use their own agency. The basis for my study is the theory of the Welsh School of Critical Security Studies which focuses on understanding security through emancipation. The methodology contains a structural analysis of the reception system through the lenses of the agency–structure relationship and a legal and institutional study, as well as an in-depth examination of security practices combined with a reconstruction critique. The results show that the Polish reception system is a structure which is highly asymmetrical in relations of power, especially in the fundamental case of setting a security agenda. This thus constitutes a substantial constraint on migrants’ agency – with some potential for emancipation, however. In conclusion, the research points out the discrepancy between elements of the reception system driven by principles of liberal democracy and the nation-state and calls for a more inclusive, empowering and participatory security provision within the reception system in Poland.