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Korneev O. (2017) International Organizations as Global Migration Governors: The World Bank in Central Asia. Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations: July-September 2017, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 403-421.


Gobal_Governance_coverNumerous international organizations play a key role in generating and sustaining migration governance across the world in the absence of a global migration regime. However, global governance scholarship lacks grounded understanding of their role, which is often rejected or simply left unnoticed. In rare cases when IOs do get academic attention, light is shed on two referent “migration” IOs—the International Organization for Migration and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees—while other IOs remain in their shadow. Drawing on the case of the post-Soviet Central Asia, which is characterized by both significant migration dynamics and multilayered governance but has so far escaped attention of migration governance scholars, this article takes two steps for establishing a new research agenda. First, it deploys and applies to IOs the concept of global migration governors defined as authorities who exercise power across borders for the purpose of affecting migration policy. Second, it moves discussion beyond the referent IOs and demonstrates the role of often overlooked nonreferent IOs, such as the World Bank, active in the field of migration governance. This analysis is based on fieldwork in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia conducted in 2011–2015.


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Korneev, O. (2017) ‘Self-legitimation through knowledge production partnerships: International Organization for Migration in Central Asia’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

JEMS-213x300The absence of a solid international migration regime and related competition between international organisations (IOs) in the field of global migration governance bring challenges to their authority and legitimacy to the fore. This paper sets to explore how the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reacted to such challenges. For this, the paper applies the concept of self-legitimation of IOs. Drawing on insights from International Relations and International Political Economy as well as on ‘sociology of translation’, the paper argues that the core self-legitimation strategy and practices of IOM rely on knowledge production partnerships with other IOs and relevant local stakeholders. To develop this argument, the paper uses the notions of challenged and challenging institutions, identifies sources of related challenges and the audiences that are important for self-legitimation efforts of IOs. It shows how IOM has become both a challenging and a challenged institution and how its knowledge production partnerships in the post-Soviet Central Asia increase its reputational authority in relations with its local and global audiences. This analysis builds on fieldwork conducted in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2011–2015.

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Korneev, O. (2014) “Exchanging Knowledge, Enhancing Capacities, Developing Mechanisms”: the Role of IOM in the Implementation of the EU-Russia Readmission Agreement, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Vol. 40. Issue 6. Pp. 888-904.

{0E9F8116-54BA-E111-BB1A-001CC477EC84}Research on European Union (EU)–Russia cooperation in migration issues often neglects important actors involved in these seemingly bilateral arrangements. This paper questions the role that the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has been playing in the EU–Russia cooperation in migration management. The analysis is situated in the theoretical framework describing international organisations (IOs) as bureaucracies and within the discussions about international migration governance and migration management. The paper describes the context of the EU–Russia migration management cooperation and identifies the major activities of IOM in Russia. Treating IOs as bureaucracies that pursue their own interests, the paper argues that, far from being a mere implementing body, IOM is an actor that, to a significant extent, has shaped the outcome of EU–Russia migration dialogue. At the same time, it is the context of this bilateral cooperation that has allowed IOM to strengthen its position vis-à-vis both Russia and the EU and to be successful in the competition with other IOs.

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Korneev, O. (2013) EU Migration Governance in Central Asia: Everybody’s Business – Nobody’s Business?, European Journal of Migration and Law. Vol. 15. No.3. Pp. 301–318.

EMIL 15.3_cover.inddThe EU has been involved in various migration governance initiatives in Central Asia with ambiguous impact. Among the reasons given to account for EU external governance failures in Central Asia figure poor EU local expertise, “awkwardness” of states in the region, low level of regional cooperation and high conflict potential among Central Asian states. This article identifies previously neglected challenges for EU migration governance in Central Asia due to the nature of international governors present in the field and to the character of relationships between them: strategic – the lack of donors’ coordination, and operational – limited coordination and often open competition between implementing partners. The article concludes by arguing that current EU actions in this field form a set of disparate initiatives that do not amount to a comprehensive policy seeking to impact migration in Central Asia but rather strive to broaden and strengthen EU presence in the region.


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Oleg Korneev (2012), Deeper and Wider than a Common Space: European Union-Russia Cooperation on Migration Management’ 17European Foreign Affairs Review, Issue 4, pp. 605–624


Works that address European Union (EU)-Russia cooperation within the overarching project of the common space of freedom, security and justice (FSJ) often look at this ‘space’ as if it were regarded by both parties as a naturally coherent field, where cooperation had to be developed evenly in all of the sub-fields. Consequently, this misperception often leads to the conclusion that EU-Russia cooperation on issues of justice and home affairs is rather unsuccessful because, on one hand, there is still no visa free regime and, on the other hand, developments in the sphere of human rights and judicial reforms in Russia are far from being satisfactory. This article argues that in order to better appreciate the results of EU-Russia cooperation in the field of internal security, one should not analyse it in connection with EU attempts to promote human rights and democracy in Russia. Such constructivist – and somewhat idealist – view has prevented many researchers from a more pragmatic assessment that would take into account some real achievements of this cooperation that fit well with the commonly defined interests and goals in the sphere of internal security and migration management in particular. This article shows that both partners have managed to achieve much of what has been planned in the sphere of migration management. Moreover, through this cooperation with Russia, the EU has a chance to promote one of its most internationally visible instruments (readmission agreements) in Central Asia – a region where EU’s direct involvement has not been very successful.

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Korneev, O. et Nefedova, E. (2011) Le monde vu de Sibérie : l’engagement international de la région de Tomsk, ANATOLI: Cahiers d’études sur la Méditerranée orientale et le monde turco-iranien (Revue du Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques). 2011. Numéro 2. Dossier Thématique “Représentations du Monde dans l’Espace Postsoviétique”. Pp. 231-248









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Корнеев О.В., Леонов А.С. (2014) Инструменты влияния Европейского Союза в сфере противодействия торговле людьми на постсоветском пространстве, Вестник Томского государственного университета. История. № 6 (32). С. 12-16.

historyВ статье рассматриваются вопросы международного противодействия торговле людьми на постсоветском пространстве. Особое внимание уделяется определению инструментов, которые использует Европейский союз (ЕС) для того, чтобы утвердиться в качестве заметного, влиятельного и, возможно, координирующего игрока в данной сфере, которая характеризуется участием значительного числа других международных регуляторов и явным доминированием США. Делается вывод о том, что в качестве таких инструментов ЕС использует, прежде всего, экспертные знания и тактические партнерства с ключевыми международными регуляторами.

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Voinikov V., Korneev O., (2013) ‘Problems and Prospects of EU – Russia Dialogue on Visa-Free Travel’, Baltic region. 2013. № 3 (17). P. 14—26.

Balt_Region_obshij_tnThis article deals with the issues pertinent to the EU — Russia visa dialogue — one of the major areas of cooperation between the two partners. The article aims to identify the main problems of this dialogue, as well as prospects for the introduction of a visa-free regime between the EU and Russia. The authors provide a historical overview of cooperation in this area and consider problems and prospects of visa liberalization from the economic, legal, and political perspectives. The analysis draws on primary sources such as the EU and Russia’s legislation, EU — Russia agreements on visa facilitation and readmission, visa statistics, expert interviews, as well as analytical reports and research works on the topic. Particular attention is paid to the “Common steps towards visa-free short-term travel of the citizens of the EU and Russia”, which is currently the main document in the visa dialogue. Having assessed the implementation of the provisions contained in the four blocks of the “Common Steps”, the authors draw conclusions about the political nature of major obstacles to a visa-free regime. This article is based on the proceedings of the “Russia and European Union: the dynamics of interrelations” international conference organized by the EU center of the I. Kant Baltic Federal University (the EU4U project).

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Корнеев, О. (2007) Отношения между Европейским Союзом и Россией в сфере миграции: некоторые теоретические аспекты, Вестник Томского государственного университета. № 299. С. 88-90.

vestnikВ статье показана необходимость поиска адекватных теоретических подходов для изучения взаимоотношений ЕС и России в сфере миграции. Обозначив контекст данной проблематики, автор показывает, что различные, зачастую противоречащие друг другу подходы могут быть использованы для анализа природы, динамики и форм этих взаимоотношений. Статья написана на основе материалов, собранных автором в Центральном Европейском Университете (Будапешт, Венгрия) и в Свободном Университете Брюсселя (Бельгия) в 2005–2006 гг.


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