Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



Recently, Ireland has become a major destination for migrants from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Many of these migrants are members of Russian-speaking minorities leaving a context of restrictive citizenship and language laws and varying degrees of ethnic tension. This paper draws on interviews collected in Ireland to examine the role played by the contexts of exit in decisions to migrate among Russian-speaking minorities from the Baltics. The results suggest that Russian speakers from Estonia migrate because of their experiences as minorities, while those from Latvia and Lithuania migrate to escape low wages and irregular employment. This is so despite equally restrictive language and citizenship laws in Estonia and Latvia. I argue that the effect of state policy as a push factor for minority emigration is mediated by other contextual aspects, such as levels of contact, timbre of ethnic relations, and the degree of intersection between economic stratification and ethnicity.


This is the author's manuscript of a work originally published in Ethnicities, available at DOI:10.1177/1468796809345433.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.