Migration and Mobility in the Modern Age: Refugees, Travelers, and Traffickers in Europe and Eurasia

Migration and Mobility in the Modern Age: Refugees, Travelers, and Traffickers in Europe and Eurasia

Migration and Mobility in the Modern Age: Refugees, Travelers, and Traffickers in Europe and Eurasia

Migration and Mobility in the Modern Age: Refugees, Travelers, and Traffickers in Europe and Eurasia

Synopsis

Combining methodological and theoretical approaches to migration and mobility studies with detailed analyses of historical, cultural, or social phenomena, the works collected here provide an interdisciplinary perspective on how migrations and mobility altered identities and affected images of the "other." From walkways to railroads to airports, the history of travel provides a context for considering the people and events that have shaped Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.

Excerpt

Anika Walke

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s, the movement of people is a central topic of concern, among the citizenry, among politicians, and among scholars in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the former Soviet Union. the intense debate about people’s ability to move and the transfer of goods and ideas and about ways to deal with unregulated migration reflects a complex web of movements and their assigned meanings. Recent scholarship on the movement of people in this region largely uses and expands on sociological and political science frameworks, focusing on pressing problems of integration and security, and striving to provide background for strategic policy making. But there is a lack of historical depth to these accounts, as a scholar recently noted: “migration is presented as something new and unprecedented.” a look into the past reveals both continuous and changing patterns of migration and can thereby help alleviate the panic at supposedly threatening waves of migration that, in fact, only continue a regular pattern of human behavior. Migration is at the center of cultural and social developments and representations and has helped forge global and local interaction and interrelations over long periods. Imaginations of sedentism as the norm, either in the past or in the present, are seriously flawed; as Leslie Page Moch writes, “People were on the move, and where and why they traveled tells us a good bit about the past and about the pressures and processes that produced the world with which we are familiar.” What Moch powerfully demonstrates for Western Europe is true for the central and eastern parts of the continent and Russia . . .

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