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Abstract  

The UK’s decision to leave the EU illustrates some of the tensions embedded in European integration, enabling us to examine how nationalism and cosmopolitanism operate simultaneously, thus reinforcing each other. Furthermore, the prolonged Brexit negotiations have created a climate of protracted insecurity where the only certainty is uncertainty. This is particularly reflected in the migratory experiences of European citizens currently residing in the UK. Academic research has begun exploring the affective impact of Brexit; however, little is known about how processes of connection and disconnection operate simultaneously, nor which coping strategies European migrants have employed to navigate this state of in-betweenness. Using the anthropological notion of liminality as a lens, we draw on participant observation and semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences of Brexit and the coping practices of a range of (new) Bulgarian and (old) Italian European migrants. We argue that Brexit results in a loss of frames of reference for European migrants in the UK – which can be both liberating and unsettling, depending on migrants’ positioning as unequal EU subjects as well as their views on the nature of their future re-incorporation in post-Brexit Britain.

Abstract  

This paper explores the ways in which young people aged 12 to 18 who were born in Central and Eastern European EU countries but now live in the United Kingdom construct their future imaginaries in the context of Brexit. It reports on findings from a large-scale survey, focus groups and family case studies to bring an original perspective on young migrants’ plans for the future, including mobility and citizenship plans, and concerns over how Britain’s decision to leave the European Union might impact them. While most of the young people planned to stay in Britain for the immediate future, it was clear that Brexit had triggered changes to their long-term plans. These concerns were linked to uncertainties over access to education and the labour market for EU nationals post-Brexit, the precarity of their legal status and their overall concerns over an increase in racism and xenophobia. While our young research participants expressed a strong sense of European identity, their imaginaries rarely featured ‘going back’ to their country of birth and instead included narratives of moving on to more attractive, often unfamiliar, destinations. The reasons and dynamics behind these plans are discussed by drawing on theories of transnational belonging.

Abstract  

In the summer of 2019 as the UK was in the midst of heated Brexit debates and Theresa May’s minority government clung on to power, Professor Louise Ryan interviewed Professor Nira Yuval-Davis about her recent book Bordering (Yuval-Davis, Wemyss and Cassidy 2019).  Although things have changed in some significant ways since that interview, for example Boris Johnson has now replaced Theresa May as Prime Minister, and won a landslide election victory in December, 2019, and the controversial Brexit Bill was passed by the British Parliament, many of the issues about borders and bordering remain extremely relevant today.  The current pandemic has not only revealed Britain’s dependence on migrant workers, especially in health and social care, but also exposed health inequalities among migrants and ethnic minorities.  As the post-Brexit immigration landscape begins to emerge, the analysis of Nira Yuval Davis remains as pertinent as ever.

Abstract  

This paper analyses diaspora advocacy on behalf of Ukraine as practiced by a particular diaspora group, Ukrainian Canadians, in a period of high volatility in Ukraine: from the EuroMaidan protests to the Russian invasion of Eastern Ukraine. This article seeks to add to the debate on how conflict in the homeland affects a diaspora’s mobilisation and advocacy patterns. I argue that the Maidan and the war played an important role not only in mobilising and uniting disparate diaspora communities in Canada but also in producing new advocacy strategies and increasing the diaspora’s political visibility. The paper begins by mapping out the diaspora players engaged in pro-Ukraine advocacy in Canada. It is followed by an analysis of the diaspora’s patterns of mobilisation and a discussion of actual advocacy outcomes. The second part of the paper investigates successes in the diaspora’s post-Maidan communication strategies. Evidence indicates that the diaspora’s advocacy from Canada not only brought much-needed assistance to Ukraine but also contributed to strengthening its own image as an influential player. Finally, the paper suggests that political events in the homeland can serve as a mobilising factor but produce effective advocacy only when a diaspora has already achieved a high level of organisational capacity and created well-established channels via which to lobby for homeland interests.

Abstract  

To date, the literature on gender and migration continues a longstanding bias towards female over male experiences. Similarly, research on Polish post-EU accession emigration has not sufficiently addressed the male experiences of migration. Drawing on 20 interviews with migrant men, this paper contributes to the existing research on the variety of masculinity practices and gendered migration from the Central and Eastern Europe. In so doing, it focuses on the relationship between masculinity, religion and migration in the context of migration from Poland to the UK. While religion is also rarely addressed in discussions on the post-EU accession migration of Poles, it proves to be important in shaping world views and influencing migrants’ positionalities in the new social context. Indeed, in migrants’ narratives, gender, religion and the nation intertwine with one another. Analysis shows how certain aspects of men’s social identities that were originally assets turn into burdens and how the men reach to religion, while distance from the institutional Church, to renegotiate their new positionality in order to avoid denigration or to support social recognition – which is especially important in the social reality shaped by Brexit.

Abstract  

This article is devoted to contemporary return migrations by Kazakhs – a process of great significance for the population and cultural policies of the government of independent Kazakhstan. I examine the repatriation process of the Kazakh population from the point of view of the cultural transformations of Kazakh society itself, unveiling the intended and unintended effects of these return migrations. The case of the Kazakh returns is a historically unique phenomenon, yet it provides data permitting the formulation of broader generalisations. It illustrates the dual impact of culturally different environments, which leads to a simultaneous preserving and changing of the culture of the new immigrants. The analyses found in this article are based upon data collected during two periods of fieldwork conducted in June–July 2016 and March 2018 at several locations in Kazakhstan and in cooperation with a Kazakh university. The research methodology is anchored in multi-sited, multi-year fieldwork.