In Migration and Hybrid Political Regimes: Navigating the Legal Landscape in Russia (University of California Press, 2020), Dr. Rustam Urinboyev presents rich ethnographic material to reconceptualize how migrants adapt to new legal environment in hybrid political regimes that are neither democratic nor conventionally authoritarian. Focused on Uzbek labor migrants from the Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan, Urinboyev’s book makes an important contribution to the literature on migration studies, socio-legal scholarship and Russian and Central Asian Studies by ethnographically demonstrating how Uzbek migrants negotiate the Russia’s immigration legal regime by relying on various informal and illegal practices that offer alternative means of adaptation under the conditions of shadow economy. Placing emphasis on the agency of Uzbek labor migrants, Urinboyev shows how they use informal channels to secure employment, wages, and other forms of protection despite the difficulty of operating within the official legal framework. Accessible to a wide audience, the book will be of interest to policy makers, scholars, students, and anyone else interested in contemporary global migration, Central Asia, and Russia. The book was published open-access and can be found here.
Nicholas Seay is a PhD student at Ohio State University