Date of publishing:

25.3.2022

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21104/CL.2022.1.06

Abstract:

The area of return migration is attracting considerable interest, not least because of the surge in returns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The characteristics of recent returnees and their motivations are not yet established. This work examines the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on return migration to Czechia and it offers one of the first investigations into the realities of return in this particular case. The present study is expected to contribute to our understanding of the role of transnationalism and migration networks in return migration. We also want to highlight the uneasiness between the voluntary-forced migration dichotomy when it comes to discussing the recent events. Using a mixed research design, data were collected during the first half of 2021 and the responses were gathered using a survey and interviews. The results broaden our understanding of return migration in this specific case and highlight the importance of drafting policies that take the returnees into account.

Keywords

return migration, transnationalism, networks, Covid-19, Czechia

Article Text

References

Act 106/1999 Coll. of May 11, 1999 on Free Access to Information [on-line]. 1999. [2020-07-02]. Available at: www.mvcr.cz/odk2/soubor/act-no-106-1999-coll-on-free-access-to-information.aspx
Bakewell, Oliver. 2010. Some reflections on structure and agency in migration theory. Journal of ethnic and migration studies 36, 10: 1689–1708. doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2010.489382
Basch, Linda – Glick Schiller, Nina – Szanton Blanc, Cristina. 1994. Nations unbound: Transnational projects, postcolonial predicaments and deterritorialized nation-states. Langhorne: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.
Bhagat, Ram B. – Reshmi, R. S. – Sahoo, Harihar – Roy, Archana K. – Govil, Dipti. 2020. The COVID-19, migration and livelihood in India: challenges and policy issues. Migration Letters 17, 5: 705–718. doi.org/10.33182/ml.v17i5.1048
Borjas, George J. 1990. Friends or strangers: the impact of immigrants on the US economy. New York: Basic Books.
Carling, Jørgen. – Pettersen, Silje V. 2014. Return migration intentions in the integration–transnationalism matrix. International Migration 52, 6: 13–30. doi.org/10.1111/imig.12161
Cassarino, Jean-Pierre. 2004. Theorising return migration: The conceptual approach to return migrants revisited. International Journal on Multicultural Societies (IJMS) 6, 2: 253–279.
Cerase, Francesco P. 1974. Expectations and reality: a case study of return migration from the United States to Southern Italy. International migration review 8, 2: 245–262.
Charron, Austin. 2020. ‘Somehow, We Cannot Accept It’: Drivers of Internal Displacement from Crimea and the Forced/Voluntary Migration Binary. Europe-Asia Studies 72, 3: 432–454. doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2019.1685649
Crescenzi, Riccardo – Holman, Nancy – Orrù, Enrico. 2016. From brain drain to brain circulation: how labour mobility can help less developed European regions. LSE European Politics and Policy (EUROPP) Blog [on-line]. Available at: eprints.lse.ac.uk/70353/
Czech Radio. 2020. Levnější boty i ovoce přinese dohoda s Vietnamem. Češi nesmí zaspat na startu, varuje Winter. Czech Radio [on-line], 11. 2. 2020. [2021-07-02]. Available at: www.irozhlas.cz/ekonomika/vietnam-eu-cesko-obchodni-dohoda_2002111159_aur
De Haas, Hein. 2021. A theory of migration: the aspirations-capabilities framework. Comparative Migration Studies 9, 1: 1–35. doi.org/10.1186/s40878-020-00210-4
De Haas, Hein – Fokkema, Tinekes – Fihri, Mohamed F. 2015. Return migration as failure or success? Journal of international migration and integration 16, 2: 415–429. doi.org/10.1007/s12134-014-0344-6
De Haas, Hein – Fokkema, Tinekes. 2011. The effects of integration and transnational ties on international return migration intentions. Demographic research 25: 755–782. doi.org/10.4054/DemRes.2011.25.24
Drbohlav, Dušan – Pavelková, Lenka. 2021. Pandemie Covidu-19 a mezinárodní migrace. Geografické rozhledy 31, 1: 26–29.
Erdal, Marta B. – Oeppen, Ceri. 2018. Forced to leave? The discursive and analytical significance of describing migration as forced and voluntary. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 44, 6: 981–998. doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2017.1384149
Erdal, Marta B. – Ezzati, Rojan. 2015. ‘Where are you from’ or ‘when did you come’? Temporal dimensions in migrants’ reflections about settlement and return. Ethnic and racial studies 38, 7: 1202–1217.
Faggian, Alessandra – Royuela, Vicente. 2010. Migration flows and quality of life in a metropolitan area: The case of Barcelona-Spain. Applied Research in Quality of Life 5, 3: 241–259. doi.org/10.1007/s11482-010-9108-4
Faist, Thomas. 2000. Transnationalization in international migration: implications for the study of citizenship and culture. Ethnic and racial studies 23, 2: 189–222.
Giddens, Anthony. 1984. The constitution of society: Outline of the theory of structuration. California: University of California Press.
Graves, Philip E. 1976. A reexamination of migration, economic opportunity, and the quality of life. Journal of Regional Science 16, 1: 107–112. doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9787.1976.tb00954.x
Haug, Sonja. 2008. Migration networks and migration decision-making. Journal of ethnic and migration studies 34, 4: 585–605. doi.org/10.1080/13691830801961605
Jeffery, Laura – Murison, Jude. 2011. The temporal, social, spatial, and legal dimensions of return and onward migration. Population, Space and Place 17, 2: 131–139. doi.org/10.1002/psp.606
Khanna, Anoop. 2020. Impact of Migration of Labour Force due to Global COVID-19 Pandemic with Reference to India. Journal of Health Management 22, 2: 181–191. doi.org/10.1177/0972063420935542
Kumar, Uiiwal – Raman, Rohan K. – Kumar, Abhay – Singh, Dhiraj K. – Mukherjee, Anirban – Singh, Jaspreet – Bhatt, Bhagwati P. 2020. Return migration of labours in Bihar due to COVID-19: Status and strategies of deployment in agricultural sector. Journal of Community Mobilization and Sustainable Development 15, 1: 192–200.
Lietaert, Ine. 2021. Migrants’ Post Return Wellbeing: A View from the Caucasus. International Migration 59, 2: 239–254. doi.org/10.1111/imig.12777
Macková, Lucie – Harmáček, Jaromír. 2019. The Motivations and Reality of Return Migration to Armenia. Central Eastern European Migration Review 8, 2: 145–160.
MFA. 2020a. Počet krajanů v zahraničí. Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs [on-line]. [2021-07-02]. Available at: www.mzv.cz/jnp/cz/zahranicni_vztahy/vyrocni_zpravy_a_dokumenty/poskytnute_informace/pocet_ceskych_krajanu_v_zahranici.html
MFA. 2020b. Pomoc občanům - mimořádná přeprava v Evropě. Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs [on-line], 15. 4. 2020. [2021-07-02].  Available at: www.mzv.cz/jnp/cz/cestujeme/aktualni_doporuceni_a_varovani/mimoradne_autobusove_linky.html
Mortet, Sabrina – Nadi, Moufida. 2021. The Algerian Migrants And The Financial Crisis 2008, Stay in The Host Country Or Returning Home? Revue des reformes Economique et intégration dans l’économie mondiale 15, 1: 373–385.
Paul, Ruxandra. 2020. Europe’s essential workers: Migration and pandemic politics in Central and Eastern Europe during COVID-19. European Policy Analysis 6, 2: 238–263. doi.org/10.1002/epa2.1105
Putnam, Robert. 1993. The prosperous community: Social capital and public life. The American prospect 13, 4: 35–42.
Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés – Ketterer, Tobias D. 2012. Do local amenities affect the appeal of regions in Europe for migrants? Journal of Regional Science 52, 4: 535–561.
doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9787.2012.00779.x
Sjaastad, Larry A. 1962. The costs and returns of human migration. Journal of political Economy 70, 5, Part 2: 80–93. doi.org/10.1086/258726
Sommarribas, Adolfo – Nienaber, Birte. 2021. Migration and mobility of third-country national labour workers to and inside Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic–a legal analysis. Comparative migration studies 9, 1: 1–17. doi.org/10.1186/s40878-021-00229-1
Stoychev, Aleksandar. 2020. Reasons to Return During Global Pandemic: The Bulgarian Case. Izvestiya. Journal of Varna University of Economics 64, 3: 341–351. doi.org/10.36997/IJUEV2020.64.3.341
Šantić, Danica – Antić, Marija. 2020. Serbia in the time of COVID-19: between “corona diplomacy”, tough measures and migration management. Eurasian Geography and Economics 61, 4–5: 546–558. doi.org/10.1080/15387216.2020.1780457
Szczepanikova, Alice – Van Criekinge, Tine. 2018. The Future of Migration in the European Union: future scenarios and tools to stimulate forward-looking discussions. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. doi.org/10.2760/274425
Vertovec, Steven. 2002. Transnational networks and skilled labour migration. Available at: pure.mpg.de/rest/items/item_3012174/component/file_3012175/content
White, Anne. 2014. Polish return and double return migration. Europe-Asia Studies 66, 1: 25–49. doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2013.855021