Accepted Paper:

Leaving home, coming home: Kazakstan as homeland and hope-giver for repatriate Kazaks  


Indira Alibayeva (University of Zurich)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper discusses ethnic return migration in Kazakstan which involved 1 million people to migrate into the country and role of hope in this migration process.

Paper long abstract:

Over 1 million Kazaks have migrated to Kazakstan in the last three decades. Leaving behind their houses and familiar living environment in the countries such as China, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Iran, and also Afghanistan. What it is that brought them to Kazakstan? We assume in every decision-making process people calculate losses and gains, and take certain risks. In order to take the risk there should be something that gives them hope. What is it in case of return migration in Kazakstan? It is an independent Kazak state who served as a main 'hope-giver'. I will illustrate in which form this hope is given and how convincing was state's promise for people who decided to migrate? Apart from the state, did migrants have also other sources providing hope? What are they? I will look at hope as belief which drives people to take actions towards the 'better future'.

Panel ANT-02
Migration between hope and despair: paths of mobility inside and beyond Central Asia