Emigration from Russia: about conceptual categories

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Head of the Department of Demographic and Migration Policy, MGIMO University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia; Director of the Institute for Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
MGIMO University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
Institute for Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 8

  The article is an attempt to conceptualize and substantiate the concepts that characterize the process and result of emigration from Russia and the former USSR. The key concepts characterizing the Rus­sian-speaking population abroad, as well as the definitions and terminology of return migration to Russia are: "Russians", "emigrants from Russia", "Russian by origin ", "population with Russian roots", "born in Russia", etc. The author's interpretation of certain concepts and categories characterizing emigration from Russia is proposed. It is proved that the term "Russian-speaking communities" reflects more clearly the characteristics of Russians abroad than the "Russian Diaspora". The arguments for using this terminology are offered: Rus­sians living abroad represent a very diverse ethnic, religious, social and political group of the population; Russians in many countries are integrating well into host societies, already in the first generation are so suc­cessful that they are trying to give up signs of national identity; Russians have little or no ethnic consolidation and compact living. The key components of the formation of the Russian-speaking population abroad are outlined: emigration, the disintegration of the USSR, natural movement, transformation of identity. Domestic and foreign sources of information on emigration are described in detail. On the basis of a comparison of the data of Russian and foreign statistics, estimates are given of the number of different categories of emigrants from Russia and the countries of the former USSR. The concepts and tendencies of the return migration of the Russian-speaking population to Russia are indicated. The estimate of migration potential in foreign coun­tries fo r Russia is given. It is argued that the implementation of the migration potential requires not so much pushing conditions in the countries of their current residence, but a more reasonable migration policy and an attractive social and economic situation in Russia. It is noted that there is no single and universal concept that would include all the totality and diversity of natives of Russia and people speaking Russian. The state policy of Russia in working with com patriots abroad should be more diversified, include more diverse instruments of interaction. The motivation, interests and guidelines of the population, their migration attitudes, and the socio-demographic structure require additional in-depth study.

Keywords emigration, Russia, Diaspora, Russian-speaking communities, return migration, compatriots
Publication date14.10.2018
Number of characters1351
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