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Migration as an Adaptive Response to Ethnic Nationalism in Russia


O'Brien, Michelle L. (2018). Migration as an Adaptive Response to Ethnic Nationalism in Russia. Migration Studies, 6(2), 187-204. PMCID: PMC6034504


In this paper, I argue that migration responses to push factors can differ along ethnic lines. To arrive at migration as an adaptive response in which minorities engage, two processes are necessary. First, an individual making the decision to migrate must interpret ethnic tensions as a threat to her life chances, and she must evaluate her future prospects in this ethnically charged framework. Second, the option of migration must be a viable one. That is, an individual must consider them self the plausible target of the threat of diminishing life chances, conclude that an adaptive response is required, and determine that the benefits of migrating outweigh the costs. In order to explain these processes, the relational theory of ethnic politics (Hale 2008) and demographic theories of migration are employed. To test this hypothesis, an event history model is estimated using regional, household, and individual-level data from Russian censuses and the


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Migration Studies


O'Brien, Michelle L.