New Article: Gold, Adaptation and Return among Israeli Enclave and Infotech Entrepreneurs

Gold, Steven J. “Adaptation and Return among Israeli Enclave and Infotech Entrepreneurs.” In Immigration and Work (ed. Jody Agius Vallejo; Bingley: Emerald, 2015), 203-29.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/S0277-283320150000027022

 

Abstract

Purpose

Since the widespread adoption of the concept, transnational theorizing has attended to inequalities with regard to legal status, education, travel, and access to capital to understand the experience of migrant populations. This issue has become especially pertinent in recent years, as a growing body of journalistic and scholarly attention has been devoted to a new group of transnationals who work as entrepreneurs, professionals, and financiers involved in high tech and other cutting-edge economic activities. Regarded as among the world’s most powerful engines of economic growth and innovation, these entrepreneurs enjoy unprecedented levels of income, state-granted privileges (including permission to work), and access to elite institutions. Because of their level of resources, some observers contend that this group represents a fundamentally new category of immigrants distinct not only from labor migrants but also from merchants, professionals, and technicians.

Methodology/approach

To better understand their experience, this chapter draws on in-depth interviews and ethnographic research to compare two groups of Israeli immigrants living in Western societies: high-tech entrepreneurs and enclave entrepreneurs. Focusing on their economic and collective lives, it identifies similarities and differences among the two.

Findings

Conclusions suggest that the mostly male high-tech migrants do enjoy incomes, contacts, and access to travel that far exceed those available to labor and skilled migrants. Moreover, infotech immigrants are not dependent upon contacts with local co-ethnics that are vital for the survival of most other migrant populations. However, the communal, identity-related and familial concerns of infotech migrants are not completely amenable to their considerable resources. Accordingly, as they address these matters, their experience reveals significant similarities to those of migrants bearing a less privileged status.

Research implications

Collective, familial and identificational issues play central roles in shaping patterns of work and travel among high-tech transnational entrepreneurs. As such, these issues deserve continued attention in studies of global migration and work.

Originality/value

Research is based on a multi-sited ethnographic study of Israeli enclave and infotech entrepreneurs.

 

New Article: Cohen, Changing Politics of Israel’s Diaspora Strategy

Cohen, Nir. “A Web of Repatriation: The Changing Politics of Israel’s Diaspora Strategy.” Population, Space and Place (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/psp.1931

 

Abstract

Diaspora strategies were explained against the backdrop of neoliberal reforms, within which context governments in sending countries sought to mobilise skilled migrants for homeland development projects. Despite sporadic evidence that non-governmental organisations take increasingly meaningful parts in diaspora strategy-formation processes, little attention has thus far been paid to their specific roles. This paper attends to the salient contribution of non-governmental organisations to Israel’s diaspora strategy. Focusing on two recent state-assisted return programs, it argues that a greater involvement of private and civic organisations should be seen as part of broader political-economic shifts, most notably economic neoliberalisation. Since the late 1980s, organisations have partnered with the state to create a tri-sectoral ‘web of repatriation’, which is effectively responsible for the creation and implementation of return programmes. Through a critical analysis of the discourse within, and practices deployed by, this new web, the paper illustrates the changing politics of return in Israel. Specifically, it shows how partners have advanced a greater professional segmentation of (potential) returnees, prioritised those best suited for the needs of a small number of ‘economic growth engines’, and institutionalised merit-based compensation schemes. Despite their different positions and situated knowledge, both state and non-state bodies have been using similar trajectories, calling for greater privatisation, harsher selectivity, and differential rewards in Israel’s diaspora strategy.

New Article: Bodankin & Semyonov, High-Skilled Immigrants in Israel

Bodankin, Moran, and Moshe Semyonov. “Geo-Cultural Origin and Economic Incorporation of High-Skilled Immigrants in Israel.” Population, Space and Place (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/psp.1934

 

Abstract

The present study focuses on differential modes of economic incorporation and economic success of highly skilled immigrants in Israel. Data were obtained from the 2009–2011 Labor Force and Income Surveys. The analysis pertains to recent immigrants aged 25–64 years who attained academic education prior to migration. Three major geo-cultural groups of immigrants are compared with Israeli-born. The groups are as follows: Europe and the Americas, the Former Soviet Union, and Asia and Africa. The multivariate analysis (conducted separately for men and women) reveals significant differences across geo-cultural groups in labour-market performance (i.e. economic participation) and in economic outcomes (i.e. attainment of professional occupation, occupational status, and earnings). An ethnic hierarchy is observed with Israeli-born at the top, followed by immigrants from Europe and the Americas; the groups of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and from Asia or Africa are placed at the bottom of the hierarchy. Although all high-skilled immigrants are disadvantaged when compared with Israeli-born, all tend to improve their labour-market status with the passage of time in the country. However, only immigrants from Europe and the Americas are able to reach economic assimilation with high-skilled Israeli-born. Asian–African immigrants and immigrants from the Former Soviet Union are less successful in converting skills into economic success; they remain economically disadvantaged even after 20 years of residence. The impact of geo-cultural origin on differential ability of immigrants to transmit credentials from one country to another is discussed.

 
 
 

New Article: Cohen & Kranz, State-assisted Highly Skilled Return Programmes: Israel and Germany Compared

Cohen, Nir and Dani Kranz. “State-assisted Highly Skilled Return Programmes, National Identity and the Risk(s) of Homecoming: Israel and Germany Compared.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (ahead of print)

 

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369183X.2014.948392

 

 

Abstract

State-assisted return programmes (SARPs) have emerged as key components of diaspora mobilisation strategies in countries of origin. Especially in countries where the principle of jus sanguinis underpins citizenship regimes, these programmes have often been drawn from ostensibly national(istic) discourses in order to encourage the repatriation of (mostly highly skilled) citizens residing abroad. Drawing on interviews with public officials and migrants as well as content analysis of primary and secondary materials, this paper examines SARPs deployed by Israel and Germany. It argues that while the discourse and practice within which state programmes are embedded (re-)construct the nation in certain ways that are commensurate with perceived determinants of return, migrants have often rejected these formulations, underscoring instead a range of neglected personal and professional return-oriented risks. The paper’s main contribution lies in better clarifying the links between highly skilled return migration policy, national identity and migration determinants and uncovers the diverging articulations of return used by state and migrants alike.