Ethnic Return Migration to and from the Soviet Union

Award Year: 
Project Director(s): 

Laurie Manchester, Associate Professor of History, Arizona State University
Brian Horowitz, Professor of Russian and Jewish Studies, Tulane University

The tumultuous events of the twentieth century that transformed the lands of the former Russian empire simultaneously created ethnic diasporas abroad and inflamed nationalism among some ethnic minorities living in the Soviet Union. Over the course of the century numerous ethnicities--including varied Slavic, Baltic, Central Asian, Semitic, Mediterranean and people of the Caususes--have either repatriated to historic homelands within the Soviet Union or repatriated from the Soviet Union to historic homelands abroad. They either came from, or came to, a country officially infused with internationalism. Yet it was also a country that was also largely isolated from most of the rest of the world. By focusing comparatively on how well these various ethnicities integrated into their homelands this project will add a new chapter to the growing studies of ethnic return migration, which until now have largely focused on democratic nation-states.

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