1st Edition

Chinese in Eastern Europe and Russia A Middleman Minority in a Transnational Era

By Pál Nyiri Copyright 2007
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    Since the late nineteenth century, hundreds of thousands of Chinese have moved to Russia and Eastern Europe. However, until now, very little research has been done about the initial migrants in the nineteenth century, the presence of the Chinese in Europe and Russia in the twentieth century before the collapse of the 'socialist' regimes or about the great wave of Chinese migration to Eastern Europe and Russia which occurred after 1989.

    This book provides a comprehensive overview of the Chinese in Russia and Eastern Europe from the nineteenth century to the present day. Particularly important is the movement of entrepreneurs in the early 1990s, who took advantage of unmet demand, inadequate retail networks and largely unregulated markets to become suppliers of cheap consumer goods to low-income Eastern Europeans. In some villages, Chinese merchants now occupy a position not unlike that of Jewish shopkeepers before the Second World War. Although their interactions with local society are numerous, the degree of social integration and acceptance is often low. At the same time, they maintain close economic, social, and political ties to China.

    Empirical in focus, and full of rich ethnographic data, Pál Nyíri has produced a book that will be of great interest to students and scholars of Chinese studies, international migration, diaspora and transnationalism.

    Part 1: History  Early Contacts.  Chinese Farmers, Hunters, Workers, and Merchants in Russia, 1858-1914.  Chinese as Labourers and Soldiers in Russia’s Wars, 1914-1922.  Chinese in the Soviet Union, 1922-1989  Part 2: The Present  Chinese Migration to Russia and Eastern Europe since 1989: Sources, Numbers, and Migration Strategies.  Employment and the Ethnic Economy.  Transnational Practices and Politics.  Finding a Place in Eastern Europe?  Conclusion: A Transnational Middleman Minority


    Nyíri Pál is a senior lecturer and director of the Applied Anthropology programme at Macquarie University.

    'Chinese in Eastern Europe and Russia is an important contribution in filling the lacuna of research in the field. It offers a richly textured and informative account which will be of interest to laymen and specialists alike. It is hoped that the richness of the material in the monograph will be an inspiration to othes to conduct more in-depth research on the topic' - James K. Chin, The University of Hong Kong, Journal of Chinese Overseas, May 2008

    'This book will be of interest to students and scholars of the Chinese diaspora and international migration, and is a very valuable source for all those wishing to pursue further research on Chinese migration in Russia and especially in Eastern Europe, an area which certainly deserves more attention' - Ana Dragojlovic, The Australian National University, The China Journal, No. 60


    "Recommended.  Upper-division undergraduates and above." -- CHOICE, Jan 2009 Vol. 46 No. 05