Eurasian Migration Research Funded with $960,345 National Science Foundation Grant

Oct. 8, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — Cynthia Buckley, chair of the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies and associate professor in the Department of Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a $960,345 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her project titled "People, Power, and Conflict in the Eurasian Migration System."

The project will assess how international migration affects human security and patterns of international influence. Buckley, along with co-principal investigators Timothy Heleniak (University of Maryland), Beth Mitchneck (University of Arizona) and Blair Ruble (Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center Scholars) will focus their analysis on migration within Eurasia, where documentation is often inadequate. As a result, migration in the region is rarely included in debates over migration theory despite its large population and significance for U.S. foreign policy.

"International migration challenges the enforcement of international human rights, alters national cultural composition, tests the limits of social and political tolerance, and binds national economies," says Buckley, who is also an IC2 Fellow. "In addition, it creates complex economic, social and political linkages between states that have an important—and often overlooked—influence on geopolitical considerations."

The researchers seek to improve understanding of the Eurasian migration system and its implication for Russian influence in the region. They aim to provide further insight concerning globalization, development and migration, and clarify the implications of Russia's migration state status on international stability and influence across a region central to U.S. security goals.

The award was funded through the Social and Behavioral Dimensions of National Security, Conflict, and Cooperation competition, a joint venture between the NSF and the Department of Defense.

For more information, contact: Michelle Bryant, College of Liberal Arts, 512 232 4730.

3 Comments to "Eurasian Migration Research Funded with $960,345 National Science Foundation Grant"

1.  Howard R. Lowe said on Oct. 22, 2009

Dear Ms. Buckley: I read the short write-up in the UT alum newsletter on Eurasian migration. Over the past 15-plus years I have spent about 30 percent of my time in Kazakhstan in conjunction with petroleum exploration and production. During this time I formed many fast friendships with Kazakhs and Russian Kazakhstanis. I did a great deal of research on their culture and their language. My contacts range from Almaty to Astana to Aktau to KzylOrda and Atyrau. I would be happy to assist you in any way I can: names of contacts and phone numbers. They range from drivers, housekeepers, ministers, bureaucrats, lawyers, professional engineers and geologists, and to one former prime minister. I have talked to veterans of WWII. I was invited to attend a celebrative luncheon of WWII veterans in Almaty (I was the only Westerner who was a veteran of WWII.) I have had a number of visits regarding the Afghanistan debacle the Russians experienced. My driver was a young paratrooper, and one of my administrative people was a retired colonel who served there.

The politics is very complex and tribal in nature. When the country gained independence the Kazakhs took over all the higher positions in industry and government. I prepared a slide talk (PowerPoint) on Kazakhstan that might be helpful. It is out of date on demographic and economic graphs and charts. I will be happy to share this with you if you think it would be another source of information. Howard R. Lowe

2.  Vince Tornillo said on Oct. 22, 2009

At a high-level, how will you and your team conduct this research? Do you review large quantities of documents?

3.  Garret Gajek said on Oct. 22, 2009

I find this very interesting.