Multi-level Migration Governance in Illiberal Societies: Central Asian Migrant Workers in Russia and Turkey (MiGRaTe)



Academy of Finland, 2021-2024


This is a three-year postdoctoral research project based in the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. Funded by the Academy of Finland, the project aims to develop a comparative framework for the understanding of these interactions through a systematized examination of the functionality of migration governance in Russia and Turkey. By comparatively exploring these societies, characterized by weak rule of law, non-democratic political regimes, widespread corruption and poor human rights record, the research project seeks to explain how and under what circumstances formal and informal actors and institutions involved in migration governance influence and shape each other’s agenda and strategies.

The project uses qualitative fieldwork methods and collects ethnographic data in target societies. The project argues that the study of Russian and Turkish migration regimes should look beyond the façade of formal migration governance perspectives and analyse the informal performances and actor positions from a functional perspective, assessing them as the actual manifestation of multi-level governance in weak rule-of-law migrant receiving contexts. The comparative framework of the project will facilitate studies of other societies where the state faces enormous resistance from other formal and informal forces in implementing its laws and policies.

Project leader

Sherzod Eraliev, Academy of Finland Post-doctoral Fellow