Migration is one of the most popular strategies of coping with poverty among citizens from the Caucasus. In addition to economic factors, migration forms a set of practices aimed at securing social security and personal development. Political changes and economic crises within host countries affect migration patterns and the circulation of goods. At the same time, migration dynamics have an impact on changes in border policy, attitude towards migrants and labour market regulations. For those involved, human mobility creates translocal and transnational ties (or networks) that pave the way for the circulation of goods and enable or facilitate movement of immobile people. For people in the Caucasus, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, social networks in their multiple localities play a crucial role in establishing livelihood strategies and ways of operating in domestic economies. Social networks affect not only migration flows from the Caucasus but also influence the kind of survival tactics migrants employ while abroad. In this light, we are interested in how migration chains and communities are built and how they function.
The circulation of goods is embedded in social activities as a way of bridging and not bridging networks. Within this framework, we would like to address the following questions during the conference: What kind of impact does migration and the circulation of mobile goods have on mobile and immobile people from the Caucasus? How does this impact effect the relations between South Caucasian states and societies and external entities such as the Russian Federation and the EU?
This international conference will be organised as part of the EU-FP7 CASCADE project (http://www.cascade-caucasus.eu) by the working group dedicated to issues of migration, mobilities and poverty in the Caucasus. We invite scholars from different disciplines, who are exploring migration, mobile goods and trade networks in the Caucasus and beyond. The conference is funded by the EU’s 7th FWP project CASCADE (http://www.cascade-caucasus.eu). Paper proposals (250 words) together with a short bio (100 words) should be submitted in English by 31 July 2016 to Tamar Khutsishvili (email@example.com) Weronika Zmiejewski (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Annika Jooß (email@example.com). The authors of accepted proposals will be notified by 15 August 2016 and asked to submit an extended outline of their presentation (ca. 2000 words) by 18 October 2016 that then will be shared among the presenters, chairs and discussants.
The conference will take place in Jena (Friedrich Schiller University) on 18 and 19 November 2016. Travel to, and accommodation in Jena will be funded for the authors of accepted papers.