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FEL-262095-19

Erik R. Scott
University of Kansas, Lawrence (Lawrence, KS 66045-7505)
Illegal Emigration: Soviet Defectors and the Borders of the Cold War World

Preparation of a book that explores Soviet defectors from the Cold War era to the 1970s and the changing nature of defection as a global phenomenon.

This book project challenges the notion of the Cold War world as a place of stable boundaries and illuminates the strategies of the Soviet state and its citizens in an era of creeping globalization. It examines defection as a global phenomenon produced by the criminalization of emigration by socialist states and the strategic encouragement of departure by capitalist states during the Cold War. Drawing on archival documents from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, the Baltic states, the U.K., and the U.S., the project will produce a book tracing the global journeys of defectors through the contested borderlands of the period, including refugee camps, restricted border zones, international waters, and airspaces. Exploring the history of defection from 1945 to the present, the book considers how the competition for Soviet migrants helped shape the governance of global borders and reinforce an international refugee regime whose legacy and limitations remain with us to this day.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Immigration History; Political History; Russian History

Program:
Fellowships

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2020 – 12/31/2020