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Revista Novedades en Población

versión On-line ISSN 1817-4078

Rev Nov Pob vol.12 no.24 La Habana jul.-dic. 2016




Social and public dimensions of international migration: a comparative study of Turkey and Ukraine*


Dimensiones sociales y públicas de la migración internacional: un estudio comparativo de Turquía y Ucrania



Wadim Strielkowski,** Yuriy Bilan,*** Svetlana Kalyugina,****



Received: June 15th 2016
Accepted: September 10th 2016




Our paper analyses the recent problems ofinternational migration in the 21st century, as well as its biases and pitfalls, stemming from the social, public, and economic perspectives. We employ the first-hand data and the empirical findings from the representative survey questionnaire conducted in Turkey and Ukraine within the framework of the EU-funded EUMAGINE project (2010-2013) that focused on how Europe is perceived from outside the EU, and how these perceptions affect migration aspirations and decisions of potential migrants. In total, more than 8.000 respondents took part in the survey conducted in 2011-2012 which provided interesting results for our empirical analysis.

We analyze the impact of demographic, structural and socio-cultural determinants on migration expectations and plans, and review the prospects for future studies on noneconomic determinants of external migration. Our results demonstrate the differences and similarities of potential migrants in both Turkey and Ukraine based on the social background, personal characteristics and other relevant factors.

Keywords: International migration, quantitative approach, social determinants, Turkey, Ukraine.


Nuestro artículo analiza los problemas recientes de la migración internacional en el siglo XXI, así como sus sesgos y escollos,a partir de los puntos de vista sociales, públicos y económicos. Empleamos los datos y los hallazgos empíricos de un cuestionario representativo aplicado en Turquía y Ucrania en el marco del ProyectoEUMAGINE, financiado por la Unión Europea (UE) (2010-2013), el cual se enfocó en el modo como Europa es percibida fuera de la Unión Europea, y cómo estas percepciones afectan las aspiraciones y decisiones migratorias de migrantes potenciales. En total, más de 8000 sujetos participaron en la encuesta realizada entre 2011-2012, la cual aporta interesantes resultados a nuestro análisis empírico.

Analizamos los impactos de los determinantes demográficos, estructurales y socioculturales en las expectativas y planes relacionados con la migración, y revisamos las perspectivas para estudios futuros sobre los determinantes no económicos de la migración externa. Los resultados del estudio demuestran las diferencias y similitudes de los migrantes potenciales de Turquía y Ucrania, sobre la base del entorno social, las características personales y otros factores relevantes.

Palabras clave: determinantes sociales, enfoque cuantitativo, migración internacional, Turquía, Ucrania.  




Overall, one can view migration as a complex social, public, economic, political, as well as cultural phenomenon, a multi-faceted in its consequences, and a process that depends on many assumptions and manifests itself in many, very often unrelated and unexpected areas. In the recent decades, various changes in the geopolitical and economic conjuncture actualize  the theme of international migration for many countries, including the countries of the former Soviet Union as well as the countries caught up in the border areas of the new geopolitical, economic, and socio-cultural formations. This fully applies to both Turkey and Ukraine that are the main topic of our paper.

Although many disparities between the original "social material" of Turkey and Ukraine do not allow us to make straightforward comparisons, at the same time some common socio-economic grounds which can be found in both countries provide the researchers with an opportunity for cross-national comparison, which, if carefully implemented, allows to go beyond ethnocentrism and the possibility of fixing supranational laws. The similarity of the social situation which gives meaning to just such a selection of objects of research lies in the fact that both Turkey and Ukraine belong to the least successful countries in terms of socio-economic development in their respective regions, resulting in both societies has long been the donor of human resources for the labour markets of neighbouring countries. Moreover, both Turkey and Ukraine represent the source countries of migration for the European Union (EU). The EU acts as a hub for migrants both from Turkey and Ukraine who seek to excel in economic, social, educational and business spheres. In addition, the EU plays a role model for the political elites in both Turkey and Ukraine who look up at the values promoted by the EU Member States.

Although both geopolitical and civilizational dimension of the problem has been widely discussed in political and media discourse since the beginning of the conflict, the formal basis of the refusal of the European integration policy by the Turkish and Ukrainian governments lied in favor of political shift in the case of the former, and integration in the post-Soviet space, in the case of the later.

The recent history of Turkey and Ukraine yields similar patterns since both countries are split between the Western and Eastern civilizations (Yücesahin and KC, 2015). Often these synthetic formations appear as the result of a voluntary way of establishing political boundaries after a military conflict (in this case, a border is drawn in the place where "the tanks stopped"and political association includes groups with a long history of hostility or significant socio-cultural differences, problematizing national solidarity and/or post-authoritarian democratization), or after a relatively peaceful distribution of spheres of influence or control between powerful political actors.

Our paper examines the methodological positions and gaps scientific discourse of external migration, as well as proposed, the scheme proposed research and its approbation on the basis of empirical data of two companies ―Turkey and Ukraine. Under the social dimension of migration processes we mean a system of social dispositions and attitudes that determine the migratory behavior of the population and the associated knowledge, perceptions and actions.

In our paper we analyze the existing theoretical approaches to international migration, outline the theoretical and methodological foundations of the research paradigm, provide the most complete overview of the social dimension of external migration, examine methodological issues of trans-national migration, as well as present the empirical results of applied trans-national study. The empirical material on the basis of which approbation research schemes will be made originates from the research database of the EU-funded EUMAGINE project that lasted for 3 years from 2010 until 2013.


Literature review and main concepts

All theoretical and methodological research literature devoted to external migration has two approaches: functional and structural. Functional approach is based on neoclassical macroeconomic and microeconomic models. A typical macroeconomic model considers labour migration with regard to economic development (e.g. Ranis and Fei, 1961). The model used here comprises of the methodological individualism, asserting that an individual makes rational decisions in order to maximize its utility on the basis of objective knowledge of market conditions. In the case of migration, it can be shown that people migrate in response to the difference of "attainable" well-being in "their" and "foreign" economic systems (Goss and Lindquist, 1995, p. 320).

In accordance with this approach, external migration is stimulated in particular spatial differences of supply and demand for labour. Moreover, each economic system is characterized by its unique specifications such as the degree of balance of labour and capital. The loss of balance stimulates migration. The mainstream course is a stream of relatively underdeveloped countries with relatively low levels of "attainable" well-being in relatively highly developed countries, as well as from rural to urban areas. The model predicts that at some point the flow will meet the needs of the market and the characteristics of the economic systems will be aligned. Then comes the return of the labour force, spatial inequality equal. Therefore, the dynamics of migration processes is a "wavy" string of loss of balance and renewal of capital and labour, and migration has clear positive aspects, in particular in connection with the further training of labour sending countries, as well as in connection with the involvement in the economy of additional funds and innovative technology. In terms of methodology, the parallel can be drawn with the structural and functionalist paradigm in sociology with its idea of ​​a revolving balance and social system as a well-functioning, even perfect, mechanism. Accordingly, the weaknesses of the model relevant methodological weaknesses close structural functionalism.

However, the research literature is full of criticism of the model described above. Massey, Arango, Hugo, Kouaouci, Pellegrino, & Taylor (1993) point out that international migration, and migration from rural to urban areas has increased over the years, despite high rates of unemployment in the developed and industrialized economies. Similarly, the predicted growth of underdeveloped economies is not always enough to pay back the migration processes. Therefore, over long periods of observation there is no "levelling", the return of the balance between capital and labour resources (Goss and Lindquist, 1995) emphasized the following three elements of the model which do not work in practice.

With regard to the above, the following steps need to be done: First, one has to consider the issue of earnings and savings of migrants during their stay abroad. The money earned by the migrants is usually not invested into the economic development of the country (for example, for capital construction and job creation), but is channelled into consumption and thus increasing inflation. Second, prior to departure to the host country the majority of newbies migrants had a job. Thus, international migration does not solve the employment problem, and possibly even exacerbates it. Third, one can recall the case of the Philippines, where during the years of intensive external migration there has not been recorded a significant increase in salaries. Similarly, there is no reason to say that workers from the Philippines gain new skills and obtain valuable knowledge which helps them to enrich labour market of their home country when they return, since the majority of external migrants from the Philippines perform low-paid unskilled work (which probably contributed to the loss of professional skills) in the migration target countries.

For overcoming the limitations of neoclassical macroeconomic model, Harris and Todaro (1970) offer a slightly modified interpretation, according to which individuals make decisions not only on the basis of objective knowledge about the market, the wage levels, and the ability to improve their financial situation, but also on the basis of perceptions and expectations, which are not necessarily objectively. From the point of view of sociological theorizing, such an amendment can be correlated with those modifications that brought the structural-functional model of Merton’s dynamic functionalism: it no longer comes to be renewed equilibrium of the system of labour markets and host countries, and about not always rationally organized and contradictory movement (Kearney, 1986).

Typically, models that merge the title "structural approach" focused on macro-processes which result in social and spatial inequality and restrictions guide and limit the life chances of individuals. Structural approach explains migration as a result of operational relations between the host and target (or sending and receiving) countries. The focus shifts from individual decisions and actions towards objective social structures that create the necessary conditions for labour migration. The well-known models procured under this approach are dependent pattern (or underdevelopment of development) as well as the associated world-system model which formed under the influence of neo-Marxism. Analysing the reasons for the low level of socio-economic development and political stability of the former colonies and the "Third World", an explanation of backwardness through an appeal to the social and cultural factors, systems of values ​​and norms might be used. Here, a more suitable approach is an appeal to the dependence of the economy (as well as politics and culture) of some countries and domination of others.

It can be shown that the new economic approach brings research focus on individuals, their decisions and actions to the level households, the main driving force in the actions which serves to minimize the risks (Stark, 1984, 1991). From this point of view, migration appears to be a households’ strategy aimed at diversifying profits, minimizing the risks of unemployment, poor economic conjuncture, etc.

Migration systems approach describes the international structures as the macro- and micro-level structures which are characterized by an intensive exchange of resources, capital, and people. Here, the macro-level components of the migration systems are represented by the political structures, establishing migration regimes, economic structures of domination and dependence recreating hypoplasia backward and high level of development of successful areas, cultural and linguistic structure, structuring the interaction of migrants and residents of the host country. Micro-level components are represented by the structure of kinship and friendship embodied in the network communication (Fawcett and Arnold, 1987).

Social network is the last component which is the focus of the analysis of a relatively independent approach to the study of migration. Migration networks are personal direct and mediated communications that link the former and actual migrants, as well as non-migrants. These networks increase the likelihood of international migration, because it reduces the cost and time of receipt of the necessary information, and the risk of movement and spending. Thence, migration network becomes a kind of social capital (Massey et al., 1993, p. 448).

There is one thing in common for the entire spectrum of theories of migration ―all of them are characterized by some similar omissions and bias. In the remaining sections of this paper that follow we will look at them one by one and imagine the way how they have been addressed using specific methodological and methodical tasks within the EUMAGINE project.


Methodology and tools

Perhaps one of the most common features of migration discourse that passes through the interdisciplinary framework is the fact that migration phenomenon is considered in the literature mainly from the point of view of the target countries and from the perspective of the needs of these countries in the optimization of migration policy in connection with real and imagined threats (trafficking, illegal migration, saturation of the labour market by non-residents at the expense of employment of residents, the problems of cultural adaptation, law-abiding and identity newcomers, etc.).

Beyond the scope of view of any researcher, as is often the prospect of sending (or host) countries, is that the complex migration represents a path in which a person is not just traveling and returns, but also makes it commercially, "acquiring" kinship, property and political rights, linguistic and cultural competencies lead to the emergence and spread of the phenomenon known as "transnationalism" (Schiller, Basch & Blanc-Szanton, 1992).

Commonly recognized response to a possible deformation of the "science of optics" is a comparative trans-national research focus, which allows us to reject unwanted ethnocentrism, to get a broader perspective as to the positions of host and sending countries from the position. The EUMAGINE project that was funded by the European Commission and lasted for 3 years (2010-2013) focused on four countries (Morocco, Senegal, Turkey, and Ukraine) with a fairly long history of mass with respect to external migration and the general direction of migration targeted at the EU countries.

Surely, this research strategy involves many novel challenges because it is often trans-national (and even subnational) research in one way or another and are trans-national which means that the heterogeneity of the "field" problematizes the equivalence of methods used for making conclusions (Jowell, 1998, pp. 168-177). According to Jowell (1998), there are two extremes in the content of the answer to the question of equivalence in trans-national study two approaches: 1) maximum quality approach, in which the study design, methods and tools as possible to adapt all investigated contexts, but a comparison of individual cases problematized; 2) consistent quality approach, in which the study design, methods and tools remains unchanged, but increases the risk that "local" specificity remains behind the scenes. Due to the fact that there is an objective reason to criticize both the name of the approach our task we see in their "reconciliation" in order not to lose the quality of conduct meaningful comparison in trans-national terms. The EUIMAGINE project was envisaged with such an attempt: a quantitative component of the project foresaw the use of a single tool without any adaptations, and accounting "local" specificity is achieved through a qualitative component (semi-structured interviews with the competent and influential representatives of local communities).

Moreover, (this criticism usually applies to all non-sociological models of migration behaviour), a comprehensive study of external migration should take into account the fact that migrants and non-migrants (or potential migrants) represent some socio-demographic groups, carriers of the important characteristics ―from gender and age group to the cultural, religious, ethnic, identity, which essentially can determine the migratory behaviour or to determine the barriers to migration. The EUMAGINE project helped to verify the hypotheses about the influence of gender (and other individual characteristics (age, involvement in social networks, education, and migration history) on the migratory experience, behaviour and migration performance.

Furthermore, for the non-sociological approaches it usually happens that the massive representation (perception, motivation, goals and values) are particularly important in the modern world where communication, logistics, transport technology and popular culture and create the ability and desire to migrate. No due attention is paid to the motivations, acceptance, discourse, that is, symbolic, social and cultural reality (see e.g. Boneva and Frieze, 2001; or Chirkov, Vansteenkiste, Tao, & Lynch, 2007). The EUMAGINE project focused on two types of mass representations: firstly, the concepts associated with the decision to migrate and, secondly, the ideas associated with the destination of migrants and with the host country.

For the first type the project used the concept of "migration project" as defined by Mai (2004), who understands the goal of any migration project as "identify and movement in space representation of the desired identity and lifestyle, using that migrants are (design) itself" (Mai, 2004, p. 4). For the second type representations (representations associated with the host country) used the term "geographic imaginations" is often used. The concept refers to the subjective perception of human space, specific locations (areas), people living in them, political and economic opportunities associated with specific places (Gregory, 1994). Such perceptions are formed not only erratically during the formation of the individual life experience but also purposefully ―under the influence of political and cultural discourses passed "inherited", contribute to the formation of identities. Without regard to whether the objective picture painted by geographical representation, it is updated and has material consequences, like any other cultural, symbolic design. An important type of mass representations of migration studies within the framework of the EUMAGINE project is the notion of returning migrants, as well as the obtained information on successful and unsuccessful experiences of migration.

Fourth, in the migration shifts towards the analysis of economic factors that often do not explain, but only describe, in fact in itself a statement of statistical indicators, salary levels, quality of life in the home and host countries represent a descriptive study. There is no "bridge", the link between migration research and analysis of social change, a broader social theory. The trend or longitudinal studies on migration which complicates the diagnosis of what social innovations bring with them "waves of migration", are also scarce.

In the empirical part of our paper we will focus on testing the above conceptual scheme that includes specific terminological apparatus, theorizing main links between elements of social reality, defining migratory behaviour, and tools of empirical sociological study of migratory behaviour. Based on the conceptual scheme described above, we will present a system of determinants influencing migration intentions. Within this framework, we will consider the effect the influence of socio-demographic, structural and socio-cultural factors. Indicator of viability of this technique may be the presence of common patterns in the empirical material Turkey and Ukraine, and the discrepancies can be described by their understandable differences in their respective societies.


Context of migration in two societies: Turkey and Ukraine

To start with, a brief excursion into the context of migration between the two societies is required. In the case of Turkey, the most current actual trends of migratory behavior of the population emerged in the late 1960s. Thanks to a series of bilateral intergovernmental agreements aimed at overcoming the high unemployment in Turkey and raising funds in stable currencies of foreign countries (in accordance with the positions of the dominant while the neoclassical macroeconomic model), hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens migrated to Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, and other European countries (a well-known story of "guest workers"). External migration from Turkey to Western Europe intensified by family reunification and asylum Turkish citizens in EU countries (the figure fluctuated considerably, in particular, with the aggravation and mitigation, followed by the Kurdish problem in recent decades) (TÜSĠAD, 1999, p.67; Şeker and Sirkeci, 2015; Zeyneloğlu, Civelek & Sirkeci, 2016). European countries are the main, although not the sole focus of external migration from Turkey. Areas such as North Africa and the Middle East are also popular amongst Turkish migrants. By the end of the 2000s, more than three million Turkish citizens living abroad, of whom 2.7 million, or about 6% of the population in Europe (Erf, 2002).

Ukraine represents yet a different story. Contemporary history of Ukraine is marked by deep crisis in the economy and employment, institutional inefficiency of the state, as well as the phenomenon of poverty working ―all of which become factors stimulating mass external migration. Similarity between Ukraine and Turkey is that in Ukraine, as in the case of Turkey, the mass outmigration influenced quite a large part of the population ―experts’ assessments speak about 7 million people in 2006 (World Bank, 2006) and 4.5 million people in 2009 year, or about 10% of the country's citizens (Markov et al., 2004), 1.7 million of which migrated to the European Union. However, the figures in the European Social Survey for 2008 showed that the affirmative reply to the question "Have you conducted paid work abroad for more than six months in the last ten years?" was provided by the 5.4% of Ukrainian respondents and only by 1.4% of Turkish respondents. The discrepancy of the given results and expert surveys is quite explainable: respondents could hide illegal employment experience abroad; the period of employment may not exceed six months; representative for the society as a whole certainly has released a sample of the field of attention uneven distribution of such a feature as the experience of labor migration which is likely to be more common in the border regions of the investigated companies.

However, it becomes apparent that the essential difference between the Ukrainian and the Turkish case is that migration flows from Ukraine are more "bottom-up" arise from the actions and practices of individual migrants or related subjects of business and not stimulated by international agreements on employment, as happened in the case of Turkey in the 1960s and the 1970s. The absence of such opportunities for migration to Europe does not stop Ukrainian citizens: while 40% of Turkish respondents answered affirmatively to the question "Ideally, if you had the opportunity, would you move to live or work abroad in the next five years or would have remained in their country?", in Ukraine, the same question resulted in 47% of affirmative responses.


Empirical model and its main results

When it comes to the top migration countries, in case of Turkey the listed countries were represented by Germany (8.6%), France (6.9%), and Belgium (5.2%). In case of Ukraine, respondents identified Germany (7.2%), the US (6.4%), and Italy (6.2%). The Russian Federation occupied the fourth place with 4.5%. Migration intentions of Turkish respondents almost exclusively focused on the EU, while the relevant intention of Ukrainian respondents cover and countries such as the United States, the Russian Federation, and Canada.

It has to be noted that the quantitative differences between the Turkish and Ukrainian society are smeared when it comes to concrete actions rather than abstract migration intentions. The answers to the more specific question of intention to move in these countries over the next five years revealed that about the same percentage of respondents in both countries have such intentions (20.9%) for Turkey and (22.9%) for Ukraine. Ukrainian respondents declared a desire to migrate (under favorable conditions) which contradicts the answers to the question about more specific intentions and actions, which may indicate a greater popularity in Ukraine "migration discourse"―that is, the relative mass verbally inclination to fix the desire to migrate with no real intentions and action to migrate. In what follows, we consider the socio-demographic, socio-cultural and structural dimension of migration behavior of Turkish and Ukrainian respondents based on the methodology of the EUMAGINE project.

Respondents' gender in both countries is fixed link with the desire to migrate: men significantly more likely to declare such a desire (table 1). Female respondents differ little in their desire to migrate, which (as in the case of men) further decreases with increasing values ​​of the age and the presence of children. Thence, we can assume that an appeal to traditional gender behaviors can help to explain this distribution. This hypothesis, like the hypothesis of emancipatory impact of migration experience, requires verification, but the social fact of the differences already registered.

The results from the surveys in companies indicated a negative relationship between age and the desire to migrate. In addition to the age characteristics by which young people are more likely to change and new experiences, there are probably more complex explanations, in particular, socio-cultural and structural. In terms of socio-cultural importance is the way in which meanings and symbols give some "added value"of external migration. In structural terms, the important thing is how rooted in the life of their societies child-rearing responsibilities and relationships, including marriage, and involvement in the labor collective (or lack or weakness of such a rootedness) promote or prevent external migration.

An interesting contrast seems fixed on the influence of education on migration and desire Turkish Ukrainian respondents (table 2).  Our assumption that the positive impact of education on the desire to migrate arises from the fact that the educational experience brings greater transparency worldview formation of a more diverse range of communication skills and knowledge of foreign languages, opportunities to take part in the programs of student exchange and so on.

One can see that the duration of education can be positively associated with the desire to migrate for other reasons (and not just the causes, has a positive connotation): in a "crisis of society" educated professionals cannot find well-paid jobs, and the system of education to the needs of a low-paid market. Accordingly, the duration of education may be associated with criticality and pessimistic assessment of their life prospects at home. In this case, a higher desire to migrate from more highly educated respondents is an indicator of dysfunctional phenomena. From this point of view, the results are explainable: a more dynamic and less affected by the crisis, the Turkish economy in the duration of education at least promotes a desire to migrate in which does not happen in the Ukrainian case.

Now, let us compare the distribution of indicators desire to migrate to the distribution parameters of the migration experience using the European Social Survey database (table 3). Due to the fact that relevant experience proved to be too small even for hypothetical conclusions among Turkish respondents, in the following comparison we restrict ourselves to the Ukrainian respondents.

It becomes obvious that the rate of migration experience coincides with the distribution by gender, captures the high prevalence of migration experience in the age group between 35 to 45 years (while migration desire more pronounced in younger). We have recorded significant differences of the migration experience of the respondents with different educational levels, but it remains possible (at least hypothetically) to assume that a higher prevalence of such experiences obtained a special technical education, further - higher education, and the last to have the least educated.

Furthermore, structural "limitations" or, on the contrary, the characteristics favoring desires to migrate in particular can be considered through the issue of marital status and presence of children which is shown in table 3. Being married is negatively associated with the desire to migrate. Both in the case of Turkey and in the case of Ukraine the largest differences were recorded between respondents who have never been married and unmarried respondents at the time of the study (at 0.001 level). The same significant differences recorded between respondents living with their children and childless respondents. Another characteristic which determines the hypothetical migration of respondents was the relatives living abroad. In Turkey, respondents’ connection between this structural characteristic and the desire to migrate is not fixed, while for the Ukrainian respondents it is essential.

Defining the social and cultural characteristics that shape up the desire to migrate, we mean submission, relationships and estimates produced by the respondent and relevant to the issue of migration behavior (table 4).

In order to identify such sociocultural characteristics, specific indicators aimed at identifying some "stereotypical" ideas, attitudes and evaluations of respondents were selected. The spectrum considered in our paper includes a number of socio-cultural characteristics of migratory expectations and perceptions of their country and "Europe". Below is a series of isolated analytically integrated indicators. The integrity and validity of the integration index is an argument in favor of the migration expectations should be regarded as a coherent structure consistent consciousness of the respondent with respect to logical built in he or his worldview, and therefore dominion scientific analysis and the incorporation in the context of broader theoretical constructs. It has to be noted that for the Turkish respondents this figure is significantly lower than the Ukrainian respondents, indicating that in the perception of Ukrainian respondents’ migratory expectations are allocated in a more autonomous structure of consciousness, which is more "tangible" and is present in the individual and mass consciousness.


Conclusions and implications

Overall, our paper looked into the scientific discourse of the migration paradigm, analysed the theoretical and methodological basis and methodology of the EUMAGINE project, filled in the gaps, and illustrated by the findings and potential of the mentioned project the empirical findings of Turkish and Ukrainian respondents. Our outcomes determined the influence of social, demographic, cultural and structural factors on the propensity to migration and the willingness to migrate. Future research directions might be targeted at the detailed social portrait of the respondents according to their migratory expectations, experiences and plans, clustering "Euro-optimists" and "Euro-pessimists", as well as with the creation of the model, integrating socio-cultural, institutional, structural, demographic and economic determinants of migration plans and behaviour.

However, one important conclusion we can make from our research is the fact that each of the integrated socio-cultural indicators in the case of Ukraine is more holistic, and bearing more internal consistency. Interestingly, though, and requires verification conclusion is that in Ukrainian society practices of external migration are perceived more holistically, said the practice is perceived as more autonomous part of social reality, the perception is more stereotyped in the individual and mass consciousness, which highlights the need to consider the migration expectations in Ukraine as a discursive practice (i.e. practice is manifested not only and not so much at the level of behavioural, both at the verbal and symbolic).

We arrive at the conclusion that migration expectations of Turkish and Ukrainian respondents differ significantly: Ukrainian respondents are more optimistic and, in our view, this is a common leitmotif coming through any analysis of migratory expectations of the population of Ukraine. The fact that migration expectations of Turkish and Ukrainian respondents are significantly different speaks in favour of this interpretation. Ukrainian respondents are significantly more positive (perhaps more mythologized) despite the fact that the legal possibilities for external migration to the EU citizens of Ukraine less.

We conclude that complex socio-cultural structures contribute to the formation and reconstruction of the migration phenomenon. In particular, a critical assessment of the "domestic" reality of the Ukrainian respondents significantly differs from the assessment of conformity of the Turkish respondents, which, presumably, is explained as an objective condition is more static and crisis and more dynamic and emerging economies, Ukraine and Turkey, and (in the case of Ukraine) the power of the imaginary and the real benefits of the "Soviet past" with a more efficient system of social protection and security. Evaluation of "European" norms and values does not differ at significant level amongst the respondents in Ukraine and Turkey. When it comes to the suggestions for further research on this topic, it seems to be very interesting to search for the possible idealistic image of the EU among young Ukrainians and for the realistic image of EU among young Turks. Recent political development in Turkey (e.g. the unsuccessful military coup in July 2016) turned the country further away from the EU postponing the visa abolishment deal and further integration, while the events in war-torn Ukraine gradually progress towards the increasing pro-European moods which might be supported by the eventual visa abolishment towards the end of 2016 or in early 2017. These factors might alter the opinions about the EU and its values and goals in the eyes of the young Ukrainians and Turks and yield different results in each country. 



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* This work was supported by the EU FP7 EUMAGINE ("Imagining Europe from the outside") No. 244703 (funding scheme SSH-2009-4.2.2: Perspectives from outside the EU on human rights, democracy and peace). We would like to thank the project coordinator, Dr Christiane Timmerman.

** University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. E-mail:

*** University of Szczecin, Poland. E-mail:

**** North-Caucasus Federal University, Russian Federation. E-mail:


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