EU post-accession Polish migrants trajectories and their settlement practices in Scotland



Piętka-Nykaza E & McGhee D (2017) EU post-accession Polish migrants trajectories and their settlement practices in Scotland. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43 (9), pp. 1417-1433.

The presence and the apparent permanence of post-accession EU migrants in the UK is of significant interest to both academics and politicians. Studies have debated whether migration from new accession countries to the UK mark a new type of migration often described as ‘liquid’ and ‘open ended’, or whether these migrants will settle in the new destination countries. Based on a qualitative study of Poles who have lived in Scotland for at least six years, we observed four typologies of what we call migrants’ settling practices: (1) stayers, (2) over-stayers, (3) circular and transnational migrants and (4) economic migrants. The findings from this study demonstrate that Polish migrants do not have fixed ideas about the duration of their migration (in terms of a sense of permanence) but instead focus on diverse links, anchors or attachments in Scotland and Poland in describing their settling practices. Thus, the main contribution the article makes is to present an in-depth understanding of what settlement means from the perspective of migrants themselves. This paper concludes by providing a short comment on implications of the outcome of the Referendum on EU membership ‘Brexit’ in June 2016 on Polish migrants settling practices.

Settlement; settling practices; EU post-accession migration; Polish migrants; Brexit

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies: Volume 43, Issue 9

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online06/10/2016
Date accepted by journal21/09/2016

People (1)


Professor Derek McGhee

Professor Derek McGhee

Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences