Migration expectations and geography of post-Soviet Ukraine

Keywords: migration, post-Soviet states, culture; civilization, democracy, Ukraine


Research background: Starting from the concept of "post-colonial cultural dependence" and its significance for the contemporary Ukrainian society, imaginary geography is analyzed by describing the representations of the characteristics of countries, regions, places, and people living in these territories. Imaginary geography as a cultural structure implies material consequences. In the context of this paper, it is necessary to provide representations of potential migrants about the characteristics of the host countries, including details about population and the real economic, social and political opportunities after migration. The association between imaginary geography and migration in the expectations of postcolonial cultural dependence has been  hardly analyzed before.

Purpose of the article: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of post-Soviet cultural dependence on migration expectations of the Ukrainian population from the postcolonial study perspective.

Methods: The methodology is composed by two elements: a synthesis of neo-institutionalism and social constructivism. The paper hypothesizes that macro and meso level discourses in the emigration environment might have an impact on aspirations through perceptions of “migratory imaginations” and “geographical imaginations”.

Findings & Value added: Findings are based on the cross-national study on external migration conducted within the EUmagine project. The findings show a strong correlation between migration expectations and perceptions of Ukrainians and post-Soviet cultural dependencies. In addition, the country represents a “post-imperial borderland” that results in the political split of the Ukrainian society. Our results might contribute to the establishment of connections between the imaginary geography of the Central, Western, and Southeastern regions of Ukraine and their migration expectations and orientations.


Download data is not yet available.


Borshchevska, Y. (2012). Perception prism of state authorities and NGOs on migration in Ukraine. Economics & Sociology, 5(2). doi: 10.14254/2071-789x.2012/5-2/1.

Bilan, Y. (2012). Specificity of border labour migration. Transformations in Business & Economics, 11.

Bilan, Y. (2014). Migration aspirations on the outskirts of Europe: social and economic dimensions. Transformations in Business & Economics, 13(2B).

Bilan, Y. (2017). Migration of the Ukrainian population: economic, institutional and sociocultural factors. London: Ubiquity Press. doi: 10.5334/bbg.

Carling, J., & Schewel, K. (2018). Revisiting aspiration and ability in international migration. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(6). doi: 10.1080/136 9183x.2017.1384146.

Čermáková, D., & Nekorjak, M. (2009). Ukrainian middleman system of labour organisation in the Czech Republic. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 100(1). doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9663.2009.00505.x.

Düvell, F. (Ed.). (2005). Illegal immigration in Europe. London: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9780230555020.

Gregory, D. (1994). Geographical imaginations. Blackwell. doi: 10.2307/2074290.

Golovakha, Е. I., & Panina, N. V. (1997). Integralnyi index sotsyalnogo samochustviia: konstruirovanie i primenenie sotsyologicheskogo testa v massovykh oprosakh. Kiev: Instytut sotsiologii NAN Ukrainy.

Fuchs, B. (2003). Mimesis and empire: the new world, Islam, and European identities. Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/cbo9780511486173.

Huntington, S. P., & Jervis, R. (1997). The clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order. Finance and Development-English Edition, 34(2). doi: 10.2307/ 2657943.

Hrytsak, Y. (2004). Strasti za natsionalizmom: istorychni esei. Kyiv: Krytyka.

Jaroszewicz, M. (2015). The migration of Ukrainians in times of crisis. Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich im. Marka Karpia.

Kandrychyn, S. (2008). Differentsyatsyya sotsyalnogo pros¬transtva Ukrainy i Belorusii kak effect “stolknoveniya tsyvilizatsyj”. Sotsyologiya: teoriya, metody, marketing, 4.

Koisova, E., Masarova, J., & Habanik, J. (2018). Regional Differences in the labour market in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Journal of Competitiveness, 10(2). doi: 10.7441/joc.2018.02.07.

Kutsenko, O., & Gorbachyk, A. (2015). Welfare state in uncertainty: disparity in social expectations and attitudes. Corvinus Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 5(2). doi: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X.

Kutsenko, О., & Horbachyk, А. (2014). Postimperial regions: associated dependence in development of Eastern Europe. Mir Rosii, 23(1).

Lodewyckx, I., Timmerman, C., & Wets, J. (2010). From nation state to migration state. Economics & Sociology, 3(2). doi: 10.14254/2071-789x.2010/3-2/2.

Malynovska, O. (2008). Migrace z Ukrajiny (s důrazem na Česko jako cílovou zemi). Nelegální ekonomické aktivity migrantů (Česko v evropském kontextu). Praha: Karolinum.

Markov, I., Ivankova-Stetsyuk, O., & Seleshchuk, H. (2009). Ukrainian labour migration in Europe: findings of the complex research of the processes of Ukrainian labour immigration. International Chartable Foundation" Caritas Ukraine".

Massey, D. S., Arango, J., Hugo, G., Kouaouci, A., Pellegrino, A., & Taylor, J. E. (1993). Theories of international migration: a review and appraisal. Population and development review, 19(3). doi: 10.2307/2938462.

Reznik, V. S. (2007). Sotsialna legitymnist` pryvatnoji vlasnosti: sproba pobudovy adytyvnogo indexu. Ukrains`kyi sotsium, 2.

Said, E. (1978). Orientalism: western conceptions of the Orient. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Said, E. W. (2012). Culture and imperialism. Vintage.

Huntington, S. P. (2000). The clash of civilizations? In Culture and politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-1-349-62397-6_6.

Siar, S. (Ed.) (2008). Migration in Ukraine: a country profile. Geneva: International Organization for Migration.

Semiv, L., & Hvozdovych, Y. (2012). The intellectual migration of the youth in Ukraine: the backgrounds for ‘brain circulation’. Journal of International Studies, 5(2). doi: 10.14254/2071-8330.2012/5-2/8.

Simionescu, M. (2016). Macroeconomic determinants of permanent emigration from Romania: a Bayesian approach. Journal of International Studies, 9(2). doi: 10.14254/2071-8330.2016/9-2/13.

Simionescu, M., Bilan, Y., Smrčka, L., & Vincúrová, Z. (2017). The effects of European economic integration and the impact of BREXIT on the UK immigrants from the CEE countries. E+ M Ekonomie a Management, 20(1).

Stanek, M., & Hosnedlová, R. (2012). Exploring transnational practices of Ukrainian migrants in Spain. Economics & Sociology, 5(1). doi: 10.14254/ 2071-789x.2012/5-1/5

Strielkowski, W., & Weyskrabova, B. (2014). Ukrainian labour migration and remittances in the Czech Republic. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 105(1). doi: 10.1111/tesg.12052.

Timmerman, C. (2008). Marriage in a ‘culture of migration’. Emirdag marrying into Flanders. European Review, 16(4). doi: 10.1017/s1062798708000367.

Vyshnyak A.I., Poddubnyi V. A., Zotkin А.А., & Belenok А.А. (2009) Geopolitychni orientacii naselennya i bezpeka Ukrainy. Za danymy sociologiv. Kyiv: Biznespoligraph.

World Bank (2012). World DataBank: World Development Indicators (WDI) & Global Development Finance (GDF). Retrieved form http://databank. worldbank.org/ddp/home.do#, Accessed: 13.04.2015.

Zarembo, E. (2015). Why is Ukraine a weak state. Retrieved form http://argumentua.com/stati/pochemu-ukraina-slaboe-gosudarstvo (07.03.2015).

How to Cite
Bilan, Y., Sergi, B. S., & Simionescu, M. (2019). Migration expectations and geography of post-Soviet Ukraine. Oeconomia Copernicana, 10(4), 603-625. https://doi.org/10.24136/oc.2019.029