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

Emilia Pietka-Nykaza, Derek McGhee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)
    166 Downloads (Pure)


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1417-1433
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studie
    Issue number9
    Early online date6 Oct 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Settlement
    • Settling practices
    • EU post-accession migration
    • Polish migrants
    • Brexit


    Dive into the research topics of 'EU post-accession Polish migrants trajectories and their settlement practices in Scotland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this