Migrants' interaction with the formal and informal state in the Russian Federation (completed)
This doctoral research project examines the question of migrants’ interactions with the formal and informal state in the Russian Federation. The focus of the project is on the different resources and strategies that diverse migrant groups in the Federation adopt in order to negotiate with the formal and informal state in Russia.
By using multidisciplinary research methods, the project examines two core questions: what does a high share of informality on the part of the Russian state authorities mean for the everyday lives of international migrants and refugees in Moscow, and in which situations are they confronted with the formal and informal state? Moreover, how do migrant groups navigate the formal and informal state in accordance with their different migration channels, regional identities, language knowledge and gender?
For his research, Paul has been conducting fieldwork in Moscow as a site that accommodates the most international migrants and refugees in the Russian Federation. He collaborated closely with migrant organizations, human rights activists and lawyers of the ‘Memorial’. He also completed a period of voluntary service at the Civic Assistance Committee, an NGO that advocates the rights of migrants and refugees in Russia. He conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with migrants and refugees in Moscow who came from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Afghanistan, Syria, the Philippines and Sudan.