Political Aspects of Repatriation: Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan. A Comparative Analysis
This paper is based on a study which compares repatriation policies of Germany, Russia and Kazakhstan The choice of cases is based on a “most similar case design.” The Russian case results in unsuccessful and unsustainable repatriation, the German case exhibits a change from sustainable repatriation to a slow termination of the program, while the case of Kazakhstan is one of sustainable and relatively successful repatriation. The main argument of the paper is that in order for a repatriation program to be sustainable, the program must contain both a practical component and an ideological component. If a repatriation program lacks ideological backing which permeates other aspects of political life in a state, the repatriation program grinds to a halt. If a repatriation program has ideological backing, but is rendered impractical and does not meet the economic, demographic and labor market needs of a state, then the further development of the program stops. The findings of this study merit further reflection on issues of changing national identities, on the transnational essence of migration pathways, and on the “post-Soviet condition” which has set the stage for all of the aforementioned processes and transformations.