Pathways to Citizenship (inclusion) and Conflict (exclusion): Employment Relations in Migrant Workers' Workplaces in Belfast, Edinburgh and Wroclaw

Monday, July 14, 2014: 5:00 PM
Room: 313+314
Distributed Paper
Radoslaw POLKOWSKI , Human Resource Management, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
The study explores trajectories of migrant inclusion and exclusion in Belfast, Edinburgh and Wroclaw – the major economic centres in the three post 2004 migrant destination countries. Northern Ireland (NI) and Scotland became net in-migration countries in the early 2000s. A significant share of their immigrant population is composed of workers from Poland – a country that itself is becoming a destination for a growing number of migrants.

Previous literature has developed different conceptual understandings of migrant integration into host societies. However, there has been less research about critical biographical junctures at which individuals stop being migrants and become settled in their various communities, migrant and host. By taking a leap into migrant workers’ subjectivity, this study investigates, through the analysis of in-depth interviews, how migrants develop and negotiate their belonging and sense of place, and how their understanding of what home is evolves over time. It builds on previous studies on migrant settlement but adds to it by exploring qualitative differences in settlement thus arguing for a more nuanced understanding of the concept that sees it not as a state but a changing process with variant shapes. The study also tries to explain how different settlement trajectories are affected by the nature of employment and the import of political economy.

The research is set in several political economy contexts of new immigrantion destinations. Being part of the UK, Scotland and NI share many features of liberal market economy and liberal welfare regime but at the same time NI has been characterized as retaining strong elements of Keynsianism. By contrast, Poland is a Dependent Market Economy with a welfare regime that combines elements of both conservative and liberal models supplemented with unique post-communist features.

The study is funded by the European FP7 Marie Curie Training Network “Changing Employment”. Website: http://www.changingemployment.eu