Return migration to Russia: social profiles of returnees, reintegration patterns, sustainability

Within research cluster “Nationalism, Xenophobia and Migrations”, in the end of the year 2007 and the beginning of the year 2008 the CGES prepared an application to a tender on return studies in several countries issued by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge). The CGES team won this tender for the expertise on “Return migration to Russia: social profiles of returnees, reintegration patterns, sustainability”. This political advisory consultancy work was the main activity of the research cluster and was carried out in the period from February 8 to October 5, 2008 and the final report was accepted by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in February 2009.

The empirical material for this study was collected during field visits to Novosibirsk, Saratov, Kaliningrad, Moscow and in St. Petersburg from February 8 to October 5, 2008. The analysis of the social situation of the remigrants from Germany to Russia is based on biographical interviews with 21 returnees and their family members who lived together with them in Germany (26 people in total): The sample for analysis includes 11 women and 10 men aged 26-30 years (4 cases), 31 – 40 years (8 cases), 41 – 50 years (3 cases), 51 – 60 years (4 cases) and over 60 years (1 case) at the time of interview. There are 7 cases of individual and 14 cases of family migration. The sample also includes 3 uncompleted migration cases where the duration of stay in Germany is 2-3 months. No spatial/regional concentration of returnees was found in any of these regions; therefore it is rather difficult to measure their role in the local development; except Kaliningrad region, where can be identified sufficient number of circular migrants with double citizenship or unlimited German residence permit and Russian citizenship (for more details see the research report, list of publications of CGES).

The CGES team co-operated and was supported by the gtz-structure of German Houses. It was a strategic advantage of CGES to have a binational setup for this political advisory work.

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