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Photo of Rustam

Rustamjon Urinboyev

Associate professor

Photo of Rustam

Informality and Uzbek Migrant Networks in Russia and Turkey


  • Sherzod Eraliev
  • Rustam Urinboyev


  • Jeanne Féaux de la Croix
  • Madeleine Reeves

Summary, in English

This chapter explores the interconnections between informality, migrant agency and networks of trust and solidarity in hybrid political regimes. These processes will be illustrated through the comparative study of the Russian and Turkish migration regimes, specifically focusing on the case of Uzbek migrant workers and their patterns of residence, incorporation into the labour market, gendered experiences of migration, and experiences of agency and capacity to navigate an opaque legal regime. Through a focus on the life history of Pulat and his adventures in Moscow and Istanbul, the chapter reveals striking differences and similarities between the two cities in terms of migrant experience, moral assessment and legal adaptation. We draw on a multi-sited transnational ethnography of Uzbek migrant workers between Uzbekistan, Moscow and Istanbul that we conducted between 2014 and 2020, including six months of ethnographic fieldwork in Istanbul’s Fatih district between January 2019 and August 2020.


  • Department of Sociology of Law

Publishing year







The Central Asian World

Document type

Book chapter




  • International Migration and Ethnic Relations
  • Law and Society


  • Russa
  • Turkey
  • Uzbek Migrants
  • Central Asia
  • labour migration




  • Informality, Migrant Precarity and Exploitation in Nordic Context: Uzbek Migrant Workers in Sweden and Finland
  • Multi-level Migration Governance in Illiberal Societies: Central Asian Migrant Workers in Russia and Turkey
  • Migration, Shadow Economy and Parallel Legal Orders in Russia
  • Migration and Legal Cultures in Post-Soviet Societies: Ethnographic Study of Uzbek Migrant Workers and Their Families
  • Multilevel Orders of Corruption in Central Asia
  • Administrative Law Reform and Legal Integration in Hybrid Political Regimes
  • Legal Cultures and Business Environments in Central Asia
  • Understanding Islamic Legal Culture and Migration through Ethnographic and Archival Research


  • ISBN: 978-0-367-89890-8
  • ISBN: 9781003021803