Why Control Immigration?: Strategic Uses of Migration Management in Russia

By Caress Schenk

© 2018

Migration management in Russia is a window into how public policy, the federal system, and patronage are used to manage conflicting demands. This multi-level balancing act demonstrates the importance of high-level politics, institutional interests and constraints, and the conditions under which government actors at all levels can pursue their own interests as the state seeks political equilibrium. Why Control Immigration? argues that a scarcity of legal labour and the ensuing growth of illegal immigration can act as a patronage resource for bureaucratic and regional elites. Assessing the legal and political context of migration, Caress Schenk blends a political science approach with insights from the comparative immigration literature. Using this framework, she also engages with attitudes on populism and anti-immigration, particularly in terms of how political leaders utilize and employ public opinion in Russia.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 392 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP004844

  • AVAILABLE MAR 2018

    From: $71.25

    Regular Price: $95.00

    ISBN 9781487502973
  • AVAILABLE MAR 2018

    From: $71.25

    Regular Price: $95.00

Quick Overview

Using a multi-method ethnographic approach, Why Control Immigration? argues that the scarcity of legal labour and the ensuing growth of illegal immigration can act as a patronage resource for bureaucratic and regional elites in Russia.

Why Control Immigration?: Strategic Uses of Migration Management in Russia

By Caress Schenk

© 2018

Migration management in Russia is a window into how public policy, the federal system, and patronage are used to manage conflicting demands. This multi-level balancing act demonstrates the importance of high-level politics, institutional interests and constraints, and the conditions under which government actors at all levels can pursue their own interests as the state seeks political equilibrium. Why Control Immigration? argues that a scarcity of legal labour and the ensuing growth of illegal immigration can act as a patronage resource for bureaucratic and regional elites. Assessing the legal and political context of migration, Caress Schenk blends a political science approach with insights from the comparative immigration literature. Using this framework, she also engages with attitudes on populism and anti-immigration, particularly in terms of how political leaders utilize and employ public opinion in Russia.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 392 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "This is a path-breaking book.  Grounded in meticulous empirical research in multiple Russian cities, Schenk examines the development of Russian migration policy as a 'multi-level balancing act' between various regional and institutional interests. Why Control Immigration? reveals how the widely-remarked, but comparatively understudied phenomenon of legal labor scarcity in Russia arises through particular policy initiatives and a complex balance of Moscow-federal relations."


    Madeleine Reeves, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester

    "This book makes an important and timely contribution to the still scant English language literature on migration and migration policy in post-communist Russia. Thoroughly researched and ethnographically rich, the book shows how what appears as a contradictory and sub-optimal labor migration regime in the 21st century Russia results not from Russian state weakness or regime's authoritarianism. Instead, government actors at national and local levels purposefully create a scarcity of legal labor to reap benefit stemming from such a system. The book should be read not only by Russia specialists, but by all who what to understand how strict immigration controls can lead to increase in illegal immigration and dangerous populism."


    Oxana Shevel, Department of Political Science, Tufts University

    "In the last two decades, Russia has become an immigration magnet for other countries of the post-Soviet space. Caress Schenk offered us here the first in-depth analysis of the country's policy migration, capturing the complex reality that marks immigration control in Moscow and several other cities. A must-read for all those wanting to understand Russia's soft power in Eurasia and its future as a migration destination."


    Marlene Laruelle, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Author Information

    Caress Schenk is an assistant professor of Political Science at Nazarbayev University.
  • Table of contents

    1. Why Control Immigration?
    2. The Multi-level Balancing Act of Migration Management
    3. Scarcity Mechanism #1: Quotas as a Legacy of State Planning
    4. Scarcity Mechanism # 2: Patents as State Capitalism
    5. Local Politics of Immigration in Moscow
    6. Regional Politics of Immigration in Sverdlovsk
    7. Regional Politics of Immigration in Krasnodar